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בִּרְכוֹת הַתּוֹרָה | Birkhot haTorah, paraliturgical reflections by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

Source (Hebrew) Paraliturgical Reflection (English)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֺתָיו,
וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל דִבְרֵי תוֹרָה׃
I bless You, Holy One,
whose Spirit compels me to seek wisdom.

וְהַעֲרֶב נָא יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
אֶת דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָתְךָ בְּפִֽינוּ,
וּבְפִי כׇל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל.
Remind me that seeking wisdom is sweet,
that learning is a sacred act even when it is uncomfortable,
even when I do not understand right away.

וְנִהְיֶה אֲנַֽחְנוּ וְצֶאֱצָאֵֽינוּ,
וְצֶאֱצָאֵי כׇל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל,
כֻּלָּנוּ יוֹדְעֵי שְׁמֶֽךָ
וְלוֹמְדֵי תוֹרָתְךָ לִשְׁמָהּ.
Remind me that I am in a long line of wisdom-seekers,
from my ancestors before me to my students and descendants after me.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ
הַמְלַמֵּד תּוֹרָה
לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
Remind me that I who wrestle with being alive am part of a human community of other wrestlers.

Remind me that all our seeking is for the sake of You, the One who is Consciousness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
אֲשֶׁר בְָּחַר בְָּנוּ מִכׇּל הָעַמִּים,
וְנָֽתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת תּוֹרָתוֹ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ
נוֹתֵן הַתּוֹרָה׃
I bless You, Holy One, who teaches wisdom through the ages and in my life.

Rabbi Shoshana Meira’s paraliturgical interpretation of the Birkhot haTorah (the blessings over learning Torah), is published in her Siddur v’lo Nevosh (2014). Linear correspondence between the Hebrew source and the English by Aharon Varady.

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