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I'm sorry, I don't know a word of Hebrew, and I really want to know what these sentences mean:

Bar'chu et Adonai ham'vorach l'olam vaed

Baruch atah Adonai

If I didn't write them correctly, please correct me too.


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GianT971, Welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for bringing you question here! I look forward to seeing you around. You could improve your question a bit by editing in some information about where you've come across these phrases. They're ubiquitous in the Jewish liturgy, so I'm not challenging whether they exist, but it'd help put your question into context. – Isaac Moses Dec 27 '11 at 22:08
@IsaacMoses It is from 2 songs of Paul Wilbur ("Blessed are you" and "Blessed is the Lord"), and actually I'm interested in learning hebrew – GianT971 Dec 27 '11 at 22:26
Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/38093 – msh210 May 11 '14 at 21:25
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I think you are mixing up 3 different phrases.

  • 1 ברוך אתה ה Baruch Attah Adonai. This phrase is commonly translated as "Blessed are you Lord," meaning "you, the Lord, are blessed" a statement of fact. It is used to begin most ritual blessings.

  • 2 ברכו את ה המבורך Barechu et Adonai HaMevorach. This phrase means "Bless the Lord-who-is-Blessed." "Bless" here is the plural imperative. This phrase is used by the leader of a public prayer service to call the community to prayer. The proper response by the congragation is:

  • 3 ברוך ה המבורך לעולם ועד Baruch Adonai HaMevorach LeOlam VaEd. This means "Blessed is the Lord-who-is-Blessed forever and ever." This response involves the congregation replying to the leader that, in fact, God is blessed forever and ever.

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Thank you very much :-) – GianT971 Dec 27 '11 at 22:34
I don't think ברוך ה המבורך לעולם ועד is merely stating that "God is blessed..." I think we are responding to the chazzan telling us to bless Hashem by telling him that we can't bless Him; He is already blessed beyond anything we could ever imagine. – Ari A May 10 '12 at 15:44

Barchu is a plural imperative verb meaning "bless" (so, because of the plural, you can read that as "y'all bless"). Baruch is a passive participle conveying state; "baruch (noun)" means "blessed is (noun)", or in the case of "baruch atah...", "blessed are you".

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Thanks for answering :-) – GianT971 Dec 27 '11 at 22:34
@GianT971, you're welcome. It looks like we all piled on within a minute of each other; I hope we didn't overwhelm you. :-) I hope you enjoy our site, and please bring other questions hare as they arise. – Monica Cellio Dec 27 '11 at 22:59
+1 for "y'all bless" – HodofHod Dec 28 '11 at 1:01

The first:

Bless God, the blessed [one]

Here "barchu" is imperative.

The second:

You are blessed, God.

Here, "baruch" is beinoni pa'ul - a type of verb that is so passive and descriptive it may be the closest thing in Hebrew to an adjective without actually being an adjective.

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Thanks for answering :-) – GianT971 Dec 27 '11 at 22:34

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