I understand asking God for blessings. I understand blessing someone else or asking for a blessing for someone else. I do not understand why we bless God. Why would God need our blessing? This makes no sense to me. Even calling God blessed doesn't make any sense because it implies that God is blessed by something/someone/some entity else. Here are some examples of things that I don't understand: ברכו את ה' המבורך, ברוך ה' המבורך..., יתברך וישתבח..., ברוך אתה ה'...

  • Hi @Jerrythekay - welcome to Mi Yodeya. Maybe start with this a beginning point - chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4161209/jewish/…
    – Dov
    Aug 28, 2020 at 15:20
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? what does baruch atah Hashem mean?
    – Dov
    Aug 28, 2020 at 15:24
  • We never bless g-d. We say g-d is blessed not we bless him.
    – interested
    Aug 28, 2020 at 15:41
  • baruch is a passive present not an action.
    – interested
    Aug 28, 2020 at 15:42
  • Even if you treat it as a passive, that would mean God is blessed. By whom? What does that even mean? When we say a person is blessed with something, we imply that he was blessed by some other entity. How could this apply to God? This is the crux of my question. I think the problem is that the writers of blessing type prayers are unknowingly treating God anthropomorphically. Aug 30, 2020 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Mi Yodeya!

There are many different kinds of brachot, and as there should be, the blessings serve different purposes.

See Rambam who explains there are three categories of Brachot.

(I will arrange this in a different order to make it more simple for the question)

  1. The first category of Brachot is Birchot Shevach V'Hodaah. This is a Bracha, as the Rambam explains, to give thanks and gratitude to G-d. I believe this is where you find the biggest problem - why do we need to glorify G-d in this way?

This is why we must look at the second part of the sentence where Rambam states this, and he says כדי לזכור את הבורא תמיד, וליראה ממנו, to remember the Creator constantly and fear from Him. When we exalt and praise G-d, it instill within us a sense of the glory of G-d, and it is in action which causes US to become better human beings. Rambam clearly has echoes of the Gemara in Menachot 43b, which explains this Pasuk

עַתָּה֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מָ֚ה יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ שֹׁאֵ֖ל מֵעִמָּ֑ךְ כִּ֣י אִם־לְ֠יִרְאָה אֶת־יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ לָלֶ֤כֶת בְּכָל־דְּרָכָיו֙ וּלְאַהֲבָ֣ה אֹת֔וֹ וְלַֽעֲבֹד֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God demand of you? Only this: to revere the LORD your God, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and soul,

as saying that we should make 100 Brachot a day (which is actually a commandment).

  1. The Second category is Birchot Hanaah. This is a blessing on receiving pleasure from this world. As the gemara in brachot 35a explains, this is a transferring of ownership. The whole world belongs to G-d, and we have to make a blessing in order to benefit from it.

  2. The final category is a Birchat Hamitzvah, a blessing on a Mitzvah (done right before a Mitzvah). The Gemara in many place (ex., Pesachim 7b) writes that this is a commandment. The Ritva, a prominent Rishon, on that Gemara says that there are two reasons for a Birchat Hamitzvah:

a. To reveal our intent that we are doing this Mitzvah for G-d, and not for any other purpose.

b. To put the worship using the soul before the worship using our bodies.

In summary, there are three kinds of Brachot:

  1. Praise,
  2. Pleasure,
  3. Mitzvah.

I believe you found a problem with the Bracha of praise (1). As I hope we explained well, it is a form of recognizing how lofty G-d is and it is meant to instill within us a sense of fear.

  • Thank you for your explanation. It really does not answer the question I asked. You explain why we praise and glorify God, stating because it's has a positive effect on us. I get that thinking of something greater than yourself makes you more humble, but I'm not asking why we praise and glorify. I'm asking why we BLESS. There are countless prayers, e. g. Kaddish, that heap praise on God. But the act of blessing is the act of asking for good things to come to the recipient of the prayer. This doesn't sound like something you would do for the creator of the universe. Aug 30, 2020 at 0:47
  • I will write a comment in chat.
    – interested
    Aug 31, 2020 at 6:44

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