Friday, January 19, 2007

Traditional Blessings & Energy Transfer

כ"ט טבת ה'תשס"ז
27 Beith 2007

Sivan @ jewstalk3 (message 22522) wrote:

No rabbi would ever do anything so Popish as "blessing food." Even when we bentch we THANK Hashem for what we eat. No self respecting, Torah abiding Jew would ever ask Hashem to "Bless his food." If he is observant, he only eats what Hashem has already approved anyway!

I'm not sure where he gets the idea that blessings are "thanking Hashem". The "operative" word of a bracha (blessing) itself does not suggest a motive of acknowledgement.

When a traditional "blessing" is recited, the word employed is "baruch" (ברוך). "Baruch" is derived from the shoresh ברך which generally means "power growth", to "spur prosperity" and "blessing" [1]. In other words, within the context of reciting traditional brachot, we are asking Hashem to infuse us (bless us) with the power inherent in whatever we are partaking of or observing or deriving benefit from. The word "baruch" itself suggest thats we are asking Hashem to transfer the "growth energy" of what we are eating (for example) over to us. There is no word of "thanks" (toda, for example) in a blessing.

When we say a bracha traditionally, we are asking Hashem to empower an energy transfer from that partaken (or observed or enjoyed) to us.


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark (p. 31)

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