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What Is a Bracha?

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Definition:

In Judaism a bracha is a blessing that is recited at specific times during services and rituals. A bracha can also be said when someone experiences something that makes them feel like uttering a blessing, such as seeing a beautiful mountain range or celebrating the birth of a child. Whatever the occasion, these blessings recognize the special relationship between God and humanity.

Brachot (the plural form of bracha) are meant to acknowledge God as the source of all things. They are very easy to recognize because all brachot begin with the words “Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu melech haolam,” which means, “Praised are You Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe.”

There are three kinds of brachot:

  1. Blessings said when you experience something pleasurable, such as food. The motzi, which is the blessing said over bread, is one example of this kind of bracha.
  2. Blessings recited when performing a commandment, such as putting on tefillin.
  3. Blessings that praise God or express gratitude.

Pronunciation: b-ra-cha (with the "ch" sounding like the Scottish "ch" in "loch")
Alternate Spellings: berakhah, brachah
Examples:
Let us say a bracha before we begin this meal.
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