|Source (Hebrew)||Translation (English)|
בְּזֶה הַשַּׁעַר לֹא יָבוֹא צַעַר.
בְּזֹאת הַדִּירָה לֹא תָבוֹא צָרָה.
בְּזֹאת הַדֶּלֶת לֺא תָבוֹא בֶּהָלָה.
בְּזֹאת הַמַּחְלָקָה לֺא תָבוֹא מַחְלוֹקֶת.
בְּזֶה הַמָּקוֹם תְּהִי בְרָכָה וְשָׁלוֹם.
Let no sadness come through this gate.
Let no trouble come to this dwelling.
Let no fear come through this door.
Let no conflict be in this place.
Let this home be filled with blessing and peace.
וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ
וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃ (שמות כה:ח)
And let them make Me a sanctuary,
that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
בְּ֭חָכְמָה יִבָּ֣נֶה בָּ֑יִת
וּ֭בְדַעַת חֲדָרִ֣ים יִמָּלְא֑וּ
כָּל־ה֖וֹן יָקָ֣ר וְנָעִֽים׃ (משלי כד:ג-ד)
Through Ḥokhma (Wisdom) is a house built;
And with Binah (Understanding) it is established;
And with Da’at (Knowledge) are its chambers filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)
מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב
מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל. (במדבר כד:ה)
How excellent are your tents, O Ya’aqov,
your dwellings, Yisrael! (Numbers 24:5)
The Birkat Habayit (home blessing) is perhaps the most popular supplication in the Jewish world, appearing as a hanging amulet inside the entrance of many houses of Jews of all streams. Numerous variations appear today. The provenance and original authorship of the formula is unknown. I have not been able to locate its earliest attestation in a qameya (amulet) although a variation of it appears in a printed amulet for protection against plague, dated from 1925 in Hungary and attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841).
I have appended several biblical verses to the prayer. The theurgical power of scriptural verse is one very significant element that distinguishes Jewish prayer from other literary prayer praxes. At least three verses seems apropos to me. The first two are suggested by Ilene Winn-Lederer. Exodus 25:8 associates ones own house with the archetypal mishkan, the dwelling place intended for the shekhina (Divine Presence). The second verse, from Proverbs 24:3-4, is prescriptive. When I asked for an accompanying verse from the TaNaKh to the popular Blessing for the Home on the Open Siddur Project Discussion Group on Facebook, Rabbi Alona Lisista offered the verse of blessing given by Bilaam the prophet in Numbers 24:5 upon seeing with his own eyes the wandering camp of the Israelites. These three verses, I think, help to ground the intention of the blessing in the context of the Jewish imagination.
I have also added niqud to the prayer. (Many thanks to Gabriel Wasserman for his proofreading and corrections.) –Aharon Varady
“בִּרְכָּת הָבָּיִת | Birkat haBayit (Blessing for the Home)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
קמע לשמירת המגפה | Amulet for Protection from the Plague, attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (ca. 19th c.)
היסטוריולה של סממית וסידרוס | Historiola of Smamit and Sideros, a reconstruction based on Amulet 15 & Amulet Bowl 12a
גבריאל מימינהון | “Gavriel is on the right,” an apotropaic invocation of angelic protection in the amulet bowl SD12 (ca. mid-first millennium C.E.)
קמע לשמירה מפני לילית | Apotropaic ward for the protection of pregnant women and infants against Lilith & her minions (CUL MS General 194, Montgomery 1913 Amulet No. 42)
📖 שִׁמּוּשׁ תְּהִלִּים | Shimush Tehillim (the Theurgical Use of Psalms), attributed to Hai ben Sherira Gaon