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ברכות התורה | Blessing for Torah Study, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו,
עַל דִבְרֵי תוֹרָה:
You commanded us
To exercise our awareness
In your Torah;
For this instruction
We offer You our appreciation,
Yah, our God.

וְהַעֲרֶב נָא יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
אֶת דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָתְךָ בְּפִינוּ,
וּבְפִי כָל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל.
וְנִהְיֶה אֲנַחְנוּ
וְצֶאֱצָאֵי כָל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל,
כֻּלָּנוּ יוֹדְעֵי שְׁמֶךָ
וְלוֹמְדֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ לִשְׁמָהּ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ
הַמְלַמֵּד תּוֹרָה
לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל:
We ask that we may find
Zest and delight
In the words of your teaching.
May we and our children
(and their children, too )
Become intimate with You.
And, with pure intent–
Immerse ourselves in the Torah.
Barukh attah Yah,
You mentor your people
In Torah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ
מִכָּל הָעַמִּים,
וְנָתַן לָנוּ
אֶת תּוֹרָתוֹ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ
Barukh attah Yah,
I offer You thanks,
Cosmic Majesty,
And worship You
For selecting us
Among all nations,
To reveal to us,
The Torah meant for us.
Barukh attah Yah,
You keep gifting us
With your Torah.

study Torah
where your heart prompts you

This English translation of the blessing for Torah study by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification according to the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady.


The discussion and formula for the blessing preceding Torah Study can be found in the Talmud Bavli, Berakhot 11b.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English, the William Davidson Talmud at Sefaria, lightly adapted)

מאי מברך
אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל
אשר קדשנו במצותיו
וצונו לעסוק בדברי תורה
The Gemara clarifies: What formula of blessings does he recite (for studying Torah)?
Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said:
The formula of this blessing is like the standard formula for blessings recited over other mitsvot:
Blessed are You, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty,
Who sanctified us with their mitsvot
and commanded us to engage in matters of Torah.

ורבי יוחנן מסיים בה הכי
הערב נא
ה׳ אלהינו
את דברי תורתך בפינו
ובפיפיות עמך בית ישראל
ונהיה אנחנו וצאצאינו
וצאצאי עמך בית ישראל
כלנו יודעי שמך
ועוסקי תורתך
ברוך אתה ה׳
המלמד תורה לעמו ישראל
And Rabbi Yoḥanan concludes the blessing by adding the following:
Please help,
YHVH our elo’ah,
make the words of your Torah sweet in our mouths
and in the mouths of your people, the house of Yisra’el,
so that we and our descendants
and the descendants of your people, the house of Yisra’el,
may be those who know your name
and engage in your Torah.
Blessed are you, YHVH,
Who teaches Torah to His people Yisra’el.

ורב המנונא אמר
אשר בחר בנו מכל העמים
ונתן לנו את תורתו
ברוך אתה ה׳
נותן התורה
אמר רב המנונא
זו היא מעולה שבברכות
And Rav Hamnuna said an additional formula:
Who has chosen us from all the peoples
and given us his Torah.
Blessed are you, YHVH,
Giver of the Torah.
With regard to this formula, Rav Hamnuna said:
This concise blessing is the most outstanding of all the blessings over the Torah, as it combines thanks to God for giving us the Torah as well as acclaim for the Torah and for Yisra’el.

הלכך לימרינהו לכולהו
Since several formulas for the blessing over Torah were suggested, each with its own distinct advantage, the Gemara concludes:
Therefore, let us recite them all as blessings over the Torah.

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