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There is a phrase of self-compliment people use when they find that they have independently arrived at the same conclusion as someone great. It begins with the words "ברוך שכיוונתי", translated according to my estimation as "blessed [-] that I have aligned".

What is the proper ending to this phrase?

What is the exact translation?

What is its source?

When is it appropriate to use it?

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Does anyone know why this verb is in Piel? –  YDK Oct 29 '10 at 3:20
    
Perhaps because you continue in that direction after facing it? –  YDK Oct 29 '10 at 3:54
    
It can be traced back to at least the 18th century. The P'nei Y'hoshua (Bava M'tzi'a 46b) recounts: ואחר העיון עוד מצאתי כן בתשובת הרשב"א (סימן אלף רכ"ו) וחי נפשי שתיכף בתחילת עיוני בזה נפל ספק זה בלבי אי אמרינן נמי בקדושי אשה דקרקעות מיקרי שוה כסף לקדש בהם אשה וחפשתי ולא מצאתי עד אשר אינה אלקים לידי תשובת הרשב"א הנ"ל וימצא מפורש שסובר דמקדשין את האשה בקרקעות מטעמא דשוה כסף וכן בדין חליפין, ואמינא ברוך המקום שהחזיר לי אבידתי והנחני בדרך אמת שכוונתי לדעת הגדול כי"ב. –  Fred Oct 23 '13 at 17:16

3 Answers 3

Not necessarily in the order you asked:

  • The phrase is used when answering a direct or implied question or difficulty based on your own wisdom and subsequently find your answer in a source of high authority. For example, if you answer a mi.yodeya question based on your experience of daas Torah, and then find your logic in, say, Igros Moshe, you would use this phrase.

  • The phrase is versatile- create your own ending like Baruch shekivanti l'daato shel haRav Moshe, or use it without an ending as is usually done.

  • Literally, it means Blessed... that I have directed...

  • The phrase is obviously abbreviated. Firstly, you're not blessing yourself. The implication is that you're blessing Hashem. This is similar to saying Baruch... hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol or Baruch...kel hahoda'os (modim d'rabanan) or Baruch chei ha'olamim (borei nefashos) where Hashem's name is not said. Shekivanti here means that you directed your thoughts in the same direction as [e.g the thoughts of Rav Moshe] and is obviously abbreviated as well.

  • I don't know if there is a source or how old the phrase is.

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Re "The implication is that you're blessing Hashem. This is similar to...": Yes, you're "blessing" Hashem, but it's dissimilar to the examples you bring, YDK, where, yes, Hashem's name is omitted, but He's referred to by other terms. Here, He's not referred to at all, leaving a very lacking sentence. I can't think offhand of another t'fila like this one, where we say "baruch" and don't follow it up by a reference to Hashem. Anyone? –  msh210 Oct 29 '10 at 3:45
    
I agree it's a bad format, but unless we know that this phrase wasn't created back in the 70's by some bochrim with too much time on their hands, I wouldn't lose sleep. –  YDK Oct 29 '10 at 4:19
    
How about "baruch she'amar v'haya ha'olam", in which case it's "blessed is the One who directed me" and שכוונתי is not the 1st person singular but 2nd person singular with a 1st person object pronoun? –  WAF Oct 29 '10 at 4:35
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Yahu, I think msh's concern is that other brachos at least imply that we are praising Hashen even though He isn't mentioned explicitly. Here we seem to be praising ourselves. –  YDK Oct 29 '10 at 6:06
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No (@YDK), my concern isn't that we're praising ourselves. And no (@Yahu), "baruch dayan..." and "baruch sheamar..." are not similar to this, either. Both of those refer to Hashem (as "dayan..." and as "sheamar...", respectively). Here (and this is my concern), we have just "blessed, for I have..." (contrast "blessed is the one who spoke...", where we mention the one blessed). @WAF, I think YDK's right that this can't mean "who directed me" (unless maybe it meant that originally, was worded differently ("shekiv'nani", as in "v'hu kil'lani k'lala nimretzes"), and got mangled over the years). –  msh210 Oct 29 '10 at 16:10

It translates to "Blessed is the one who directed me/pointed me", the implied continuation being "to this particularly beautiful/fitting insight" or "to the answer to this particularly difficult question". I think that should answer most of your questions.

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It doesn't translate well that way: see the comments on the earlier answer. –  msh210 Oct 31 '10 at 3:38

I remember reading that it's a popular corruption and the original phrase is 'barukh she-kivvanni' (no 't', God as the subject of the verb and one's self as the object): 'blessed is He who guided me', which makes a lot more sense, i.e., 'I said/did something appropriate without a conscious thought process, so thank the One who must have been guiding me'. I'm sorry but I can't provide a source.

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