November 18, 2010 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #593107
Every Jew is supposed to make 100 Brachos a day. That means at the minimum we say Baruch ata Hashem 100 times a day. I was speaking to someone recently (a few times my age) and he told me he just realized that he has no clue what he has been saying for so many years. How can we bestow blessings on Hashem?
The Rashba, Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet (Barcelona, Spain, 1235-1310), was asked this question. He explained that “baruch” means “He is the Source of all blessing.”
So when one makes a Bracha and says Baruch ata Hashem they should have in mind You Hashem are the source of all blessing.November 18, 2010 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #1210625
I have trouble with this. I don’t have any issue with rishonim adding additional meaning to the tefillos, but I have a hard time with the idea that they do not also mean the basic meaning of the words.
I don’t think chazal were trying to trick us when they coined the wording,and I don’t think they were short on wording options. So unless you find an old siddur which begins, “Mikor kol habracha…”, I will be disturbed by the idea that it only means, “you are the source…”.November 18, 2010 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1210626
Rabbi Miller, tz’l says that the above IS the basic pshat that was intented in the original words. the explanation above is how to teich those words. You are Blessed, meaning Blessing comes from you.
I guess like you are light, light comes from you, dont really know how to explain the teich myself but this is what R’M,tz’l says.
ive heard it in his tapes im sure it is also in Praise My Soul”
i have also heard from other reliable sources that this is the basic pshat, but i think others argue on this.November 18, 2010 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #1210627WolfishMusingsParticipant
But if that’s the case, then why use “Baruch Atah…” as opposed to “Ata M’kor HaBrachos…” (or something similar)?
The WolfNovember 18, 2010 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #1210628
i dont know
i imagine the n’veim could explain it to youNovember 18, 2010 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #1210629WolfishMusingsParticipant
IOW, “shut up and don’t ask stupid questions.” 🙂
The Wolf (who is now shutting up)November 18, 2010 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1210630deiyezoogerMember
nothing in the torah if extra, if it says it there it’s meant to be there, so just say it and and have kavana that your going to eat something from the ribono shel olem. and then enjoy the food to it’s fullest. hearty appetete!November 18, 2010 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #1210631
As others have said, that is the “literal meaning.”
It should come as no surprise to you that the words in our prayers require more than just translating the word, the meaning of a phrase is different than the meaning of an individual word. Meaning, the word Baruch alone means blessed but in the context of Baruch ata Hashem it takes on a slightly different or more absolute meaning.
Its a basic concept that things cant be translated literally without understanding the context. Every pasuk Chumash is loaded with meaning (which is why we have teh Oral Law/Talmud…Medrash)
The Torah was written in a brief form, so was the Mishna and Gemara, the Brachos and prayers were formulated by the Sages, they knew how to condense many layers of meaning into as short a verse or phrase as possible.November 18, 2010 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #1210632RSRHMember
As I usually do when I feel he has a unique (or perhaps not so unique, but useful) insight into an issue raised in the CR, I’ll try to convey R. S.R. Hirsch’s approach to Brachos.
R. Hirsch viewed the word “bracha” as related to “beraichayim” – knees. In his view, the purpose of a bracha is not for the giver to actually bestow the content of the bracha on the recipient. Rather, the purpose of a bracha is to make a definite mission statement that the giver or recipient is to internalize and strive to realize.
When we say “Baruch Atah Hashem . . .” we are not blessing God. Rather we are verbalizing a state or self-realization that we should internalize. Before we do a mitzva, we are to verbalize and strive to really appreciate why we are doing the mitzva – “asher kidishanu b’mitzvosav . . .” (exactly what that means is another long discussion). When we eat somthing, we must verbalize and internalize the idea of where it comes from, why we are eating it, and what the fact that the food is available to us means in terms of how we should utilize it in accordance with the Torah. When we are mispallel (which R. Hirsch understands to mean an act of self-reflection and self-judgement), we verbalize and hopefully internalize the idea of where our health, wealth, security, intellect, ect. comes from, what we need to be doing in order to merit these gifts, and how we are to use them once they are given to us.
Thus, Baruch Atah Hashem – You Hashem (middas harachamim) set goals and objectives for us, Elokeinu Melech haolam – You God (midas hadin) evaluate us based on our realization and fulfillment of these goals, then the rest of the bracha, which verbalizes the goal He has set for us in the particular circumstance (a mitzva, eating a food, ect.), and urges us to fully internalize the import of this goal and strive to accomplish it in our everyday life.November 18, 2010 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #1210633
Wow, thanks for posting that!November 18, 2010 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #1210634
I once met the CEO of GM, I said, “You are a car”.November 18, 2010 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #1210635
if you said to his factory: you are cars, it would be a closer parallelNovember 18, 2010 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #1210636
The point is that Bracha comes from the word Breicha which means source or wellspring. Blessed is a mistake, its an English mistranslation. The Avudraham explains that Baruch is like Rachum, Chanun….its an expression of an aspect of our perception of Hashem.November 18, 2010 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1210637
I would be equally uncomfortable if we someone told me that when we say Hashem is rachum, we mean the source of all rachamim. Does ata gibor mean the source of all gevura?
I suppose what I am trying to say, is that I don’t see how people are more satisfied with this answer. I think the answer is more difficult than the question.November 18, 2010 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1210638
thats exactly what Atah Rachum and Atah Gibor means. You and only you are the source of all Rachamim and Gevurah
the question (like most questions) has its source in lack of knowledge. i personally have no difficulty whatsoever with the answer(s)November 18, 2010 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #1210639
Hashem is the source of EVERYTHING. Every Middoh that we humans perceive and possess come from Hashem but He is the source. You know the concept of middos is about trying to emulate Hashem, Ma Hu Rachum Af Atah Rachum…Of course one needs to learn how to go about all that but thats the purpose and derech to middah refinement.November 18, 2010 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #1210640
“Ata gibor” means you are a gibor. While Hashem may be the source of gevura, that is not what we are praising him for. The evidence is from the examples we give: rofeh cholim, matir assurim… We don’t say ata gibor, and then speak about Napoleon and ascribe it to Hashem- that, while true, is not the point of that praise.November 18, 2010 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #1210641
We don’t say ata gibor, and then speak about Napoleon and ascribe it to Hashem- that, while true, is not the point of that praise.
yes it is the point
Atah Gibor, of course it is understood Hashem works through intermediaries. what do you think Atah Gibor means? Yam Suf? the winds? returning souls? the movements of all the celestial bodies? the birth of stars?
all through intermediaries, just like napoleon or big trucks or the movement of your muscles, no different
the point of this praise is that You and only You are the source of ALL Gevurah whether it is clear like Yam Suf or whether it is hidden, like napoleonNovember 18, 2010 7:03 pm at 7:03 pm #1210642
read “Praise My Soul” if youre interested
i dont think youre going to understand this from the CRNovember 18, 2010 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1210643
By putting all other gevura into Hashem’s domain, you are saying it fits into the literal meaning of ata gibor. If you are correct, then it is not a good example.
“You are the source of blessing”, does not even vaguely fit into the literal meaning of “baruch ata”.November 18, 2010 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #1210644oomisParticipant
Oh please, this is not so difficult. We are acknowledging that Hashem is Blessed, not that WE are blessing Him! Let’s say that “baruch” transalated to “wonderful” or “sweet” instead of “blessed.” The it would be like saying, “You are wonderful, Hashem, You are sweet, Hashem, ” or, as in the actual meaning of the word, “You are blessed, Hashem.” Hashem is our greated bracha in life.November 18, 2010 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1210645
no, oomis, popa is not having a problem with the concept, but with the wording chosen to express the concept.
i think this post answers your question pretty well, take a look at it again. otherwise i dont know what else to sayNovember 18, 2010 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #1210646
The point is that when we say Baruch Ata Hashem we arent saying Ani Maverachecha Hashem, but rather Baruch Ata Hashem, You, Hashem are Baruch. What does that mean You Hashem are Baruch? You Hashem are blessing. But thats still not English. So fill in the blanks You Hashem are the source of all blessing.November 18, 2010 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #1210647
Baruch does not mean blessing, it means blessed. bracha means blessing.November 18, 2010 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #1210648
What does that mean? You have some blessing? Is Hashem lacking in some way? I still dont see how it means I am blessing You. The Hebrew is incorrect if we were saying I am blessing you. If you wanted to bless someone you would say Ani Mevarechecha or something like that. I think the word Baruch is a noun its a statement of fact that whoever it is we speak of is blessed.
Besides, even though it could possibly be translated that way it is illogical and erroneous to think that that is the correct definition. Hashem lacks nothing so how can you bless Him? You would have to be nuts to think Hashem needs your “blessing.” Define “You Hashem are blessed” in a way that makes sense.
By: Rabbi Eliezer KesslerNovember 19, 2010 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #1210649
Did you read my previous post?November 19, 2010 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1210650
Yes. Thank you for finding that.
I’m still not 100% satisfied. Doesn’t it bother you that chazal would choose such an odd way for us to express ourselves?November 19, 2010 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1210651
it doesnt bother me.
it isnt odd, its just not the way you would have done it.
approximately what percentage are you satisfied at this point, and what was the percentage after the first few explanations. if you have the time to mull that over. i just thought it might be interestingNovember 19, 2010 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1210652
Anything I don’t do is odd.
It would be interesting.November 19, 2010 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #1210653
Why is that an odd way to express ourselves? Does the Bracha Hamotzi Lechem bother you? I never picked a loaf off my front lawn…November 19, 2010 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #1210654
No, the bracha hamotzi makes sense. It is a praise for Hashem who produces bread from the earth, in the form of grain.
Besides, I have probably eaten bread off the ground in my day.November 19, 2010 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #1210655
My point is that the words of the Bracha requires you to go past the literal to get what it means.
Im not sure what still bothers you. How is it an “odd way for us to express ourselves?”November 19, 2010 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #1210656
I need to think about it.November 19, 2010 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #1210657
Think it over or feel free to discuss it with a Rabbi.November 19, 2010 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #1210658
I am a Rabbi. Yoreh Yadin.November 19, 2010 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #1210659
Ok well I guess speak to a Rabbi who you think would know about these inyanim better than yourself.
Or better yet look it up heres some sources:
Rashba Shut Chelek 5 Siman 51
Rabbeinu Bechaye in sefer Kad Hakemach Ois( as in letter) Bracha
Chinuch Mitzvah 430
Aruch Hashulchan Siman 5 Sif 1
Avudraham in beginning of Seder Shacharis Shel Chol
Hatzlacha have a holy Shabbos!November 19, 2010 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #1210660
Mods, Please let my comment through asap so Popa can look it up over Shabbos.November 21, 2010 1:08 am at 1:08 am #1210661
Ok. The only ones I saw were the sefer hachinuch and the aruch hashulchan.
I do not understand the aruch hashulchan, I looked up the pasuk he is referring to in shmuel, but I don’t have a mikraos gedolos on nach. He seems to be saying something along the lines of that we only receive from Hashem in proportion to how we enable him to give us, almost as if Hashem only had what we “gave” him by doing mitzvos.
The sefer hachinuch, after a lengthy disclaimer that he does not understand these issues, seems to be saying that we are saying that Hashem is the most “Baruch”, that he has all the blessings. Then, since he has all the blessings, we can ask him to give us some them.
This explanation is pretty much in line with the one you are espousing, and it even reads perfectly into the language.
Thanks!November 21, 2010 1:31 am at 1:31 am #1210662
You are most welcome! Im glad that I was of help to you.November 21, 2010 3:11 am at 3:11 am #1210663HaLeiViParticipant
Applying this idea to the Gemara about Rebbe Yishmoel is wrong. In a Bracha you are saying, according to Pshat, that Hashem is Boruch. Rebbe Yishmoel was not saying that. For a good explanation learn the Maharal, Be’er Hagola, in the fourth Be’er. Until then, consider it Sisrei Torah.
I don’t have the Chiddushei Aggados of the Rashba at hand. Whoever gets finds one first can post what he says about that Gemara.November 21, 2010 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #1210664HaLeiViParticipant
What happened, you’re stumped?
Anyhow, B”H I got to a Rashba Chiddushei Aggados. He explains that Hashem speaks to us in a manner of begging us to live up to his expectations, as though it affects Him, Chalila. Therefore, Chazal also say that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is Mispalel. This means that He wants things to turn out good. Of course, the ball is in our hands, but Hashem wants us to be holy and righteous so that He can bestow His blessings, protection, closeness, good will and peace.
Hakadosh Baruch Hu asked Rebbe Yishmael to give Him a Bracha. Rebbe Yishmael’s Bracha was that Hashem should have pity on His children. This is what Hashem wants.
Although you might be wondering, what good is Rebbe Yishmael’s Bracha, doesn’t it depend on the merits of Klal Yisroel? To this the Rashba says that a Teffila of a Tzaddik can help. So in other words, Rebbe Yishmael Davened to Hashem that things should be good for His children, and that prayer was accepted as a Bracha.
The Aruch Hashulchan that Reb popa mentioned, is connecting this concept to Brachos in general. (The Rashba also says that that Gemara holds the key to Brachos in general.) By acknowledging that Hashem is Baruch; by attributing to Him that title and giving that praise, we are in essence giving Him our acknowledgement. When we do this and connect to, by recognizing, Hashem’s open hand, that causes more Brachos to come. But moreover, this is what Hashem wants.December 1, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am #1210665AlysParticipant
This reminds me of the question: Surely Hashem does not need our prayers. Is it for our benefit or for that of Hashem? If we believe that Hashem is complete and perfect, we have to acknowledge that it is a reminder to us of the blessedness of Hashem and this keeps us in aweDecember 1, 2010 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1210666rkgrossMemberDecember 8, 2010 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1210667
I love Poppa Bar Abba’s question, and I also love the fact that, although people have tried to shove a meaning upon him that doesnt seem to fit into the word, he has stuck to his guns in search of emes. I have always been troubled by this word-If words are “kasuv”, does that mean that they are the source of all words??-then why should “Baruch”, which is the same construct, mean the source of all blessing??-we say “Barchu es Hashem Hamvorach”-that is, without the backtwisting, a command to bless Hashem-Hashem asked R Yishmoel to bless him-so, why is the concept that we can bless Him so bizzare that the meaning of Baruch needs to be “backtwisted”-I think, that when a Jew blesses Hashem, THAT is the ultimate blessing for Hashem-in other words, He wants us to recognize Him, give thanks to Him, ask Him to help us, etc-when we do that, then THAT, for Him, is the ultimate good. I need to find someone with a longer beard than mine that agrees with me, though-Well, Boruch Poppa Bar Abba for asking it-The tragedy is that most Jews go through their lives and never even THINK about it, and that, to me, is a criminal negligence on the part of the educational system-I think that we need the entire Yeshiva world to close their Gemorras for a year and just focus on Tefilla, and utilizing Tefilla to develop a deep relationship with Hashem. We are creating spiritual skeletons that, although they may know every single last legal detail about every mitzvoh, and every argument about every legal detail, they know nothing and think very infrequently about the Giver of those Mitzvos. I dont know how this happened, but I think it is a true tragedy, and is the reason for all these “kids at risk”-they just simply dont feel a connection to Hashem, so why hold yourself back from the fun?-And I dont blame them, I blame the system for focusing too much, too early, on laws, and never on Hashem.December 8, 2010 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1210668
Using simple logic and a little understanding of the fact that Hashem is perfect in all ways and is the source of all blessing and man is useless and worthless and would cease to exist instantly with the rest of creation without the constant injection of life force that Hashem provides the world (Hamechadesh Betuvoi Bchol Yom Tamid Maasei Bereishis) (Vekonei Hakol-which means that He creates everything constantly every second of the day and that if for a nanosecond He took away His infusion of life force it would all disappear) the thought that we can bless Hashem is beyond comical, its actually insane.December 8, 2010 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #1210669
Popa appreciates the compliment and is not getting involved in this discussion again.
(Unless it gets really interesting- then I’m all over it.)December 8, 2010 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1210670
WIY, I will now address my troubles with the contents of your response, which, had you read my comments objectively, would have, I believe precountered some of you contentions. We say “Borchu es Hashem Hamvorach”-what does Borchu mean in this context?-it is a command for the tsibbur to do something related to the word Boruch-what, if not to bless Hashem, is the command?- Hashem asked Reb Yishmoel to bless Him-Well, I guess you have to tell Hashem that He doesnt understand Hashem, because Hashem doesnt need blessing, so how could Hashem ask someone to bless Hashem-glad you know more than Hashem about Hashem!! The contsruct of the word Baruch is the same as the construct of the word Kasuv-just like it seems to think that the words that are written are the source of all words, then it seems equally innacurate to say that the word Baruch means source of all blessing.
EDITEDDecember 8, 2010 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1210671
If you know dikduk so well you would realize that Baruch Ata doesnt mean I bless you or we bless you. It means “You are Baruch” translation: The source of all blessing.
Even in the English translation, all the translators say Blessed are You Hashem, if you google the definition of blessed you would see that the English definition of blessed is also not going to fit with a translation that means “I or we bless You, Hashem.”
However there is a concept that we can give power to Hashem so to speak, because by acknowledging His Existence and Greatness and how He is the Source of everything and that everything was created and exists because of His Divine Will……………………………………………………………………………………………………………we give Hashem power so to speak to give us more Blessing. In other words, the greater our recognition and appreciation of Hashem, the closer He comes to us which directly brings about a greater outpouring of Blessings from Hashem, by coming close to Him we enable Him so to speak, to bless us more.December 8, 2010 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #1210672
WIY-for some reason you are not addressing my issues,so I will try to lay it out simply, and, if you are going to respond, then perhaps respond point by point.
1-Kasuv means “is written”, does it not?-If so, then how does “baruch”, which is the same construct, not mean “is blessed”?-dont tell me that it doesnt, tell me HOW it doesnt.
2-“Barchu” is the command form of the imperfect plural form of a the verb Baruch-either show me that it is NOT the imperfect (future) command plural form of the verb, or, explain to me how commanding a tsibur to Bless is NOT commanding them to give Hashem a blessing.
3-What did Hashem mean when He asked R Yishmoel to bless Him, if He didnt mean to bless Him?-
Perhaps answering the details of the questions might make the answers more understandable.
And, although my response was edited by the editor earlier, with the ideal to “keep the peace”, I dont think you should call another Jew’s thoughts comical or insane. My response was much harsher, but the editor, with wisdom I suppose, edited them out.November 2, 2015 8:19 am at 8:19 am #1210673Shraga18Participant
Bump, as I’m looking into these issues now.
Although I can understand “Boruch Attah” meaning “you are the source of all blessing”, I find “Borchu es H’ ” to be difficult.
Can anyone tell me how we are to understand “Borchu”?
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