Monday, 09 December 2019
Local Time In Israel Asia - Jerusalem

 

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Jewish blessings for food.  Which bracha or prayer should I be reciting?

If you are mostly secular in your religious beliefs, or not Jewish, you may not know that in the Jewish religion there are many blessings for food.  Not only do Jews bless bread and wine and give thanks and bless the meal they have just eaten with a prayer known as 'Grace After Meals' (Hebrew: Birkat HaMazon), they also have blessings for many other types of food.  Blessings on food are recited daily, on the Sabbath and on Jewish Festivals.

blessings for food

Image credit: Unsplash - There are separate blessings for food -  fruit grown on trees and vegetables grown in the ground

There is a blessing for fruit that grows on trees, for vegetables that grow in the ground, for bitter herbs on Passover, for pomegranates and fish over the New Year.  It is traditional to bless every type of food before you put it in your mouth - even water.  There is a separate type of blessing for cereal, a blessing for apple strudel, for apricot preserve and for dried fruit.  There aren't thousands of blessings but every type of food fits into a category and the appropriate blessing for that category is recited.

These are the main blessings for food that are recited on a daily basis:

 

Shehakol - a general blessing for food

Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, through Whose word everything came to be

Haadama - a blessing for produce grown in the ground

Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground

Haeitz - a blessing for fruits that grow on trees

Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree

Mezonos - also a general blessing for food

Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who creates species of sustenance

Hagefen - a blessing on wine

Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine

Hamotzee - a blessing on bread


Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth

 

My good friend Leah, on Olah Hadasha (English: new immigrant),  a Liverpudlian a.k.a a 'Scouser' living in Haifa, often gives me ideas for helpful website content - this topic - blessings for food was her idea.  Thanks Leah.

If you'd like to know more about specific blessings for specific foods and their differences, here is a link to the Chabad website that explains this topic in greater detail as well as another really helpful website with food lists and the appropriate blessings.

 

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