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ברכת המזון לראש השנה לבהמה | Birkat haMazon Supplement for Rosh haShanah laB’hemah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

It is relatively well known that the Hebrew calendar has four new years. The first of Tishri, often called Rosh haShanah, is the new year of the year count and the tithing cycles. The first of Nisan is the new year for months and calculating kings’ reigns. The fifteenth of Shevat, also known as Tu biShvat or Khamishosor,[1]Khamishosor is a Yiddish name for Tu biShvat. is the new year for trees. But there is one more Rosh haShanah which is seriously underrepresented — the first of Elul, the new year for animals. This is a poetic text for Birkat haMazon, signed with an alphabetical acrostic and the name of the author, to be recited on the first of Elul. It celebrates the variety of God’s creation as exemplified by the natural diversity of species, as well as alluding to the livestock tithes traditionally assigned on the first of Elul.

Note: “The CAUSE” is used to translate the Divine Name YHVH, based on the philosophical idea of God as the Prime Mover and on the interpretation of the Name as a causative form of the copula – “causes to be.”


Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

פתיחה בתהלים ח
We open with Psalms 8:

לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ עַֽל־הַגִּתִּ֗ית
מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃
יְהֹוָ֤ה אֲדֹנֵ֗ינוּ מָֽה־אַדִּ֣יר שִׁ֭מְךָ בְּכׇל־הָאָ֑רֶץ
אֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּנָ֥ה ה֝וֹדְךָ֗ עַל־הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃
מִפִּ֤י עוֹלְלִ֨ים ׀ וְֽיֹנְקִים֮ יִסַּ֢דְתָּ֫ עֹ֥ז לְמַ֥עַן צוֹרְרֶ֑יךָ
לְהַשְׁבִּ֥ית א֝וֹיֵ֗ב וּמִתְנַקֵּֽם׃
כִּֽי־אֶרְאֶ֣ה שָׁ֭מֶיךָ מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה אֶצְבְּעֹתֶ֑יךָ
יָרֵ֥חַ וְ֝כוֹכָבִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר כּוֹנָֽנְתָּה׃
מָה־אֱנ֥וֹשׁ כִּֽי־תִזְכְּרֶ֑נּוּ
וּבֶן־אָ֝דָ֗ם כִּ֣י תִפְקְדֶֽנּוּ׃
וַתְּחַסְּרֵ֣הוּ מְּ֭עַט מֵאֱלֹהִ֑ים
וְכָב֖וֹד וְהָדָ֣ר תְּעַטְּרֵֽהוּ׃
תַּ֭מְשִׁילֵהוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂ֣י יָדֶ֑יךָ
כֹּ֗֝ל שַׁ֣תָּה תַֽחַת־רַגְלָֽיו׃
צֹנֶ֣ה וַאֲלָפִ֣ים כֻּלָּ֑ם
וְ֝גַ֗ם בַּהֲמ֥וֹת שָׂדָֽי׃
צִפּ֣וֹר שָׁ֭מַיִם וּדְגֵ֣י הַיָּ֑ם
עֹ֝בֵ֗ר אׇרְח֥וֹת יַמִּֽים׃
יְהֹוָ֥ה אֲדֹנֵ֑ינוּ
מָה־אַדִּ֥יר שִׁ֝מְךָ֗ בְּכׇל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
For the conductor, gittitando;[2]Many psalms start with musical instructions. These instructions are of unclear meaning, but probably refer to some manner of play. The literal translation here is upon the Gittite’, and the editor has here translated it into a pseudo-Italian form to reflect modern musical notation.
a hymn of David.
O CAUSE our Master, how mighty is Your name in all the earth;
that You give Your splendor over heaven.
From the mouths of infants and sucklings You establish strength;
regarding Your foes to stop enemy and avenger.
When I see Your heaven, the work of Your fingers;
the moon and stars You placed —
What is a human that you remember them;
a dust-born one that You account for them?
And You lessen them only slightly from the divine;
And wrap them in honor and beauty.
You have set them to govern over Your handiwork;
All is laid at their feet:
Flock and herd entire;
And the beasts of the field.
Birds of the sky and fish of the sea;
crossers of the day paths.
O CAUSE our Master;
how mighty is Your name in all the earth!

שלושה שאכלו כאחד חיבים לזמן זימון
Three or more who eat together must make a zimmun:

מזמן רַבּוֹתַי נְבָרֵךְ!
Mezamen: Honored fellows, let us bless!

קהל יְהִ֤י שֵׁ֣ם יְהֹוָ֣ה מְבֹרָ֑ךְ מֵ֝עַתָּ֗ה וְעַד־עוֹלָֽם׃
Community: May the name of the CAUSE be blessed now and forevermore![3]Psalm 113:2.

מזמן יְהִ֤י שֵׁ֣ם יְהֹוָ֣ה מְבֹרָ֑ךְ מֵ֝עַתָּ֗ה וְעַד־עוֹלָֽם׃
בִּרְשׁוּת מְרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי
נְבָרֵךְ (בעשרה אֱלֹהֵינוּ)
שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ׃
Mezamen: May the name of the CAUSE be blessed now and forevermore!
With permission of teachers and honored fellows,
let us bless (with ten or more: our God)
the One from whom we ate!

קהל בָּרוּךְ (בעשרה אֱלֹהֵינוּ)
שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ
וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ׃
Community: Bless (with ten or more: our God)
the One from whom we ate,
and by whose goodness we live!

מזמן בָּרוּךְ (בעשרה אֱלֹהֵינוּ)
שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ
וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ׃
Mezamen: Bless (with ten or more: our God)
the One from whom we ate,
and by whose goodness we live!

קהל בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּבָרוּךְ שְׁמוֹ׃
Community: Bless God and bless God’s Name!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
הַזָּן אֶת־הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בְּטוּבוֹ
Blessed are You,
CAUSE our God,
Sovereign of the Universe,
who feeds the whole world entire in goodness…

אֲ֯לָפִים בְּ֯הֵמוֹת גְּ֯מַלִּים דֻּ֯בִּים
הָ֯רַחוּם וְ֯הַחַנּוּן זַ֯ן חַ֯יֵּי ט֯וֹבִים
י֯וֹצְרָם כְּ֯נֶאֱמָר לָ֯רֹאשׁ מִ֯תְנַבְּאִים
Herds, beasts, camels, bears (אבג״ד)
The Merciful and Compassionate feeds good life. (הוזח״ט)
God makes them, as said to the chief of those who prophesy: (יכל״מ)

כָּאָמוּר
וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִים֩ אֶת־חַיַּ֨ת הָאָ֜רֶץ לְמִינָ֗הּ
וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ
וְאֵ֛ת כׇּל־רֶ֥מֶשׂ
הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה לְמִינֵ֑הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֽוֹב׃
וְנֶאֱמַר פּוֹתֵ֥חַ אֶת־יָדֶ֑ךָ
וּמַשְׂבִּ֖יעַ לְכׇל־חַ֣י רָצֽוֹן׃
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה הַזָּן אֶת־הַכּל׃
As it is said:
And God made the living beings of the field per their kind;
and the beasts per their kind,
and the creepy-crawlies per their kind,
and God saw that it was good.[4]Genesis 1:25.
And it is said: You open Your hand
and sate all life as desired.[5]Psalms 145:16.
Blessed are You, CAUSE, who feeds all.

נָ֯כוֹן סִ֯יַּעְתָּנוּ עֲ֯בָדֶיךָ פְּ֯תָאִים
צָ֯מַחְנוּ קֶ֯רֶן רְ֯אֵם שִׁ֯גְרֵי תְּ֯אוֹאִים
יַ֯עַן צִ֯וַּתָּנוּ חָ֯סְדְּךָ עַל שׂוֹנְאִים
Indeed, You helped us, your foolish servants (נסע״פ)
We sprouted the horn of the auroch, the buffalo’s young (צקרש״ת)
Since you commanded us Your mercy on those we hate. (יצ״ח…)

כָּאָמוּר
כִּֽי־תִרְאֶ֞ה חֲמ֣וֹר שֹׂנַאֲךָ֗ רֹבֵץ֙ תַּ֣חַת מַשָּׂא֔וֹ
וְחָדַלְתָּ֖ מֵעֲזֹ֣ב ל֑וֹ
עָזֹ֥ב תַּעֲזֹ֖ב עִמּֽוֹ׃
וְנֶאֱמַר וְאָכַלְתָּ֖
וְשָׂבָ֑עְתָּ
וּבֵֽרַכְתָּ֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ
עַל־הָאָ֥רֶץ הַטֹּבָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָֽתַן־לָֽךְ׃
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה
עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל הַמָּזוֹן׃
As it is said:
When you see the donkey of one you hate struggling under its burden,
you will not refrain from helping it;
you will help, yes, help with it.[6]Exodus 23:5.
And it is said: And you will eat
and be sated
and bless the CAUSE your God
over the good land given to you.[7]Deuteronomy 8:10.
Blessed are you, CAUSE,
for the land and for its food.

קׇ֯רְבָּנֶיךָ הַ֯נְּעִימֵי רֵ֯יחַ אֲ֯שֶׁר לִ֯מַּדְתָּנוּ
בְּ֯נֵה נְ֯וֵה אֲ֯רוֹן בְּ֯רִיתְךָ רָ֯ם ה֯וּא מִ֯כֻּלָּנוּ
הֲ֯לֹא כָּ֯רַתָּנוּ הַ֯בְּרִית נִ֯שְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ
אָ֯ז מְ֯בִיאִים נַ֯חְנוּ תּוֹדוֹת מֵאִתָּנוּ׃
Your offerings that You taught us, are pleasant of scent (…ק הרא״ל)
Build the abode of Your covenantal Ark, high over all of us (ב״ן אברה״ם)
Did You not cut with us the covenant You swore with us? (הכה״ן)
Then we’ll bring thanksgivings from us. (אמ״ן)

כָּאָמוּר
זְבַ֣ח לֵאלֹהִ֣ים תּוֹדָ֑ה
וְשַׁלֵּ֖ם לְעֶלְי֣וֹן נְדָרֶֽיךָ׃
וְנֶאֱמַר
בֹּונֵ֣ה יְרוּשָׁלִַ֣ם יְהוָ֑ה
נִדְחֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל יְכַנֵּֽס׃
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה
בּוֹנֵה בְרַחֲמָיו ירוּשָׁלַיִם
אָמֵן׃
As it is said:
Offer to God thanksgiving,
your vows to the Highest.[8]Psalms 50:14.
And it is said:
Builder of Jerusalem is the CAUSE;
gathering the exiles of Israel.[9]Psalms 147:2.
Blessed are you, CAUSE,
who compassionately builds Jerusalem,
amen.

אומר ברכה אחרונה לפי נוסח רגיל, אבל בפסוקי הרחמן אפשר להוסיף
We say the final blessing per the regular practice, but in the verses of “HaRaḥaman” one can say:

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא
יְבָרֵךְ־נָא אֶת הַשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה לְכׇל־חַיְתוֹ הָאָרֶץ וְאָז כׇּל־בְּנֵי־בָּשָׂר יְהַלְּלוּךָ׃
May the Merciful One
please bless the coming year for all the animals of the land, so that all flesh may praise you.

Notes[ + ]

1.  Khamishosor is a Yiddish name for Tu biShvat.
2.  Many psalms start with musical instructions. These instructions are of unclear meaning, but probably refer to some manner of play. The literal translation here is upon the Gittite’, and the editor has here translated it into a pseudo-Italian form to reflect modern musical notation.
3.  Psalm 113:2.
4.  Genesis 1:25.
5.  Psalms 145:16.
6.  Exodus 23:5.
7.  Deuteronomy 8:10.
8.  Psalms 50:14.
9.  Psalms 147:2.

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