ברכות | Bringing blessing to all life on Earth, a d’var tefilah on making blessings over foods by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

The Talmud (Brakhot 35a-b) teaches that eating food without saying a brakhah (a blessing) beforehand is like stealing. A lot of people know that teaching, and it’s pretty deep. But here’s an even deeper part: the Talmud doesn’t call it “stealing”, but מעילה ׁ(“me’ilah“), which means taking from sacred property that belongs to the Temple. So that means that everything in the world is sacred and this Creation is like a HOLY TEMPLE. . . .

ברכת יוצר יצירים | A Blessing for Creating, by Rabbi Adina Allen (Jewish Studio Project)

“A Blessing for Creating” comes by way of David A.M. Wilensky (with approval by the blessing’s author, Rabbi Adina Allen) who shared a photo on Facebook of a posterboard on which the blessing was written. The poster was made for the first ever Kabbalat Shabbat organized by the Jewish Studio Project, whose mission is “to activate creativity in individuals and communities to reclaim Jewish values, make meaning in our lives and restore hope to the world.” Vocalization added by Aharon Varady. . . .

Blessing over Separation, by Shelby Handler

The Blessing over Separations was first read by Shelby Handler on Rosh Ḥodesh Kislev at the 2017 ADVA Reunion, a reunion of the community of Adamah Farm fellows and Teva Learning Center educators at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. . . .

ברכות השחר | Blessings at your Dawn of Wakefulness, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Birkhot haShaḥar in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

הברכה שמח תשמח | Blessing for Joy: A Poetic Rendering of Sheva Brakhah no. 6 (Same’aḥ T’samaḥ), by Daniel Kieval

This is a poetic rendering of the sixth blessing (of the Sheva Brakhot/7 Blessings) for a wedding. It riffs off of themes and language in the Hebrew text of joy, love, and companionship, and invocations of the Garden of Eden, creation, and eternity. Written originally for the wedding of friends; I hope you’ll feel free to adapt and rework it however suits your needs! . . .

Blessing Group Torah Study with Brakhot, Ḳaddish, and Kavvanah, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

What the Rabbis taught about teaching and learning was that all Torah study should begin and end with blessings, just as eating does. Often, in liberal Jewish circles today, these blessings are not done. But without them, it is easier for Torah study to feel like a mere academic discussion, devoid of spirit. And where the blessings are said but only by rote, it is easier for Torah study to feel merely antiquarian and automatic. In Jewish-renewal style, how can we bring new kavvanah — spiritual meaning, intention, focus, intensity — to these blessings — and therefore to the process of Torah study itself? . . .


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