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What is the background of this prayer? I'd like to know who composed it, when, if there was any reason that it was composed, and what the intentions of the composer were that we should absorb when saying it.

Any additional information on the prayer is most welcome. Was it always part of ובא לציון?. Thanks!

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    It is developed from the pasuk in Yeshaya 43:7 - כֹּ֚ל הַנִּקְרָ֣א בִשְׁמִ֔י וְלִכְבוֹדִ֖י בְּרָאתִ֑יו יְצַרְתִּ֖יו אַף־עֲשִׂיתִֽיו׃
    – Dov
    Jan 27, 2023 at 11:19
  • maybe related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/117956/11532
    – Heshy
    Jan 27, 2023 at 15:07

5 Answers 5

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As far as what to think about:

Firstly, note the Avudraham:

ואומר ברוך אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו על שם ולכבודי בראתיו פירוש לשבחו וזהו כבודו

We say: “Blessed is our G-d who created us for His glory, in His Name, and with His creation, its meaning is to praise Him, and this is His glory.”

So as a starting point the central kavana is to praise G-d, as we represent His creations and thus an extension of His glory.

Note the Sefas Emes on Shavuos which develops this point:

בנוסח התפלה ברוך אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו. ולכאורה קשה דהא תנן כל מה שברא הקב"ה לא ברא אלא לכבודו. אבל התירוץ הוא כי כל הבריאה בכלל בודאי לכבודו ברא כמ"ש שהכל ברא לכבודו וכ' וירא אלקים כו' כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאוד. אבל בנ"י נבראו בפרטות לכבודו. ובאמת עי"ז שנבררו בנ"י נתקן כל הבריאה להתגלות כבוד שמו ית' בעולם. וכ' זכור ימות עולם כו' כי מקודם הי' כל הלשונות נכללין בלשון הקודש כמ"ש שפה אחת אם כי עתה אין יכולין להבין זאת. אח"כ מרדו. ורק בנ"י נשארו בהאחדות וכן איתא בדברות שנתחלקו לשבעים לשונות כי לכולם יש שורש בלשון הקודש ואיתא כל דבר שהי' בכלל ויצא מן הכלל ללמד על הכלל כולו יצא. וכן הענין בבני ישראל שנבררו מכלל השבעים לשונות הי' ללמד על הכלל כולו ונמצא שהכל לכבודו ברא על ידי זה שהבדילנו מן התועים ונתן לנו תורת אמת כנ"ל

We say in our tefilla: "Blessed is our G-d who created us for His glory." And at first glance it is difficult to understand, for it is taught that whatever the Almighty created, He did so only for His glory. However, the answer is that the entire Creation certainly reflects His glory, as it is said, "For all that He has created is for His glory" (Isaiah 43:7) and "And G-d saw that it was very good" (Bereishis 1:31). But specifically, the creation of the Jewish people was done for His glory. Indeed, with the creation of the Jews, all of Creation was perfected to bring His glory into the world. Remember the days of old, for from the beginning all languages were included in the Holy Language, as it is said, "One language, if only now we could understand it" (Bereishis 11:6). Then it was divided. Only the Jews remained united, and it is said that the words were divided into seventy languages, for all have their root in the Holy Language, and all that was included in the whole and came out of the whole to teach about the whole, it all came out. So too, with the Jews, who were distinguished from the seventy languages, to teach about the whole, and it was found that all was done for His glory by distinguishing us from the wicked and giving us the true Torah as mentioned above.

Finally note the Gemara in Eiruvin 13b which states:

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים וּמֶחֱצָה נֶחְלְקוּ בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. הַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא נִבְרָא יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁנִּבְרָא, וְהַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם שֶׁנִּבְרָא יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁלֹּא נִבְרָא.

The Sages taught the following baraisa: For two and a half years, Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel disagreed. These say: It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created. And those said: It is preferable for man to have been created than had he not been created.

The Ben Ish Chai writes on this:

נח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא - נראה לי בס"ד, שישראל נשמתם מן הבריאה שנקראת כסא הכבוד שהיא בסוד הבינה, כמ"ש רבינו האר"י ז"ל בסוד כונת ברוך אלהינו שבראנו לכבודו, מה שאין כן המלאכים הם מן היצירה. וידוע דהמעשה היא פועלת בעשיה, והדבור ביצירה והכונה בבריאה והמחשבה באצילות

It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created - It seems to me, that the souls of Israel come from a spiritual creation called the Throne of Glory, as our teacher the Arizal said is the secret of intention behind "Blessed is our G-d, who created us for His honor", which is not the case with the Angels, who come from creation. It is known that action is done through creation, and the speech in creation and the intent in creation and the thought in eternity

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    In the context of Avudarham, the Mitzvah of Honoring Father & Mother comes to mind. And this clarifies the words of the Ben Ish Chai because even though כבוד originates from Briah, where the Jewish soul descends from, the Mitzvah is about praise, שבח, which pertains to speech & Yetzirah. That speech is considered “small action” via the movement of lips (Asiyah). And this emphasizes the necessity of the Jewish soul being dressed in the Jewish body in order to fulfill the commandments. Mar 6, 2023 at 11:31
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The Origins
This is a tremendous and thought-provoking question My answer is going to focus on the background of why we say this Tefillah. Like most good things in Judaism, it is a disagreement. The siddur of the Raavon brings sevreal reasons why we say the second part of uvu ltzeiyon (ברוך אלקנו...)

The Gemora in Sotah 49B says https://www.sefaria.org/Sotah.49a.8?lang=he&with=all&lang2=he

וְאֶלָּא עָלְמָא אַמַּאי קָא מִקַּיַּים אַקְּדוּשָּׁה דְסִידְרָא וְאַיְּהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא דְּאַגַּדְתָּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֶרֶץ עֵיפָתָה כְּמוֹ אֹפֶל צַלְמָוֶת וְלֹא סְדָרִים הָא יֵשׁ סְדָרִים תּוֹפִיעַ מֵאוֹפֶל But if everything is deteriorating, why does the world continue to exist? The Gemara answers: By the sanctification that is said in the order of prayers, after the passage that begins: And a redeemer shall come to Israel, which includes the recitation and translation of the sanctification said by the angels, and by the response: Let His great name be blessed, etc., which is recited after the study of aggada. As it is stated: “A land of thick darkness, as darkness itself; a land of the shadow of death, without any order” (Job 10:22). Therefore, it can be inferred from this verse that if there are orders of prayer and study, the land shall appear from amidst the darkness.

Which Rashi adds:

אקדושה דסידרא - סדר קדושה שלא תקנוה אלא שיהו כל ישראל עוסקין בתורה בכל יום דבר מועט שאומר קריאתו ותרגומו והן כעוסקין בתורה וכיון שנוהג בכל ישראל בתלמידים ובעמי הארץ ויש כאן שתים קדושת השם ותלמוד התורה חביב הוא וכן יהא שמיה רבה מברך שעונין אחר הגדה שהדרשן דורש ברבים בכל שבת היו נוהגין כך ושם היו נקבצין כל העם לשמוע לפי שאינו יום של מלאכה ויש כאן תורה וקידוש השם:

My translation: The Rabbis made this prayer of Kedusha Desidra (uvu ltzyion) so people should learn a little Torah in. Also, the Yeheyi Shemi Rabbah which is said after the agada is said in public on Shabbos...
Reason 1
The first answer is that after learning Torah one should say Kaddish, this is the Kaddish we say after davening. This is brought down here Rav Naturai Gaon says that this was the minhag when you finish learning you say Kaddish we ensure to first say several passukim from Nach the Kaddish, followed by a small Teffilah that we should continue having the strength to learn Torah.
this is also found here: Gaonim 1 Gaonim 2 From https://hebrewbooks.org/64815

Reason 2

The enemies of the Jews would not allow the Kaddish to be said, this was implemented at the end of davening as a way of saying kedusha and kaddish after the enemies left the shul The source for these 2 reasons are found in the siddur of the Raavon. Siddur Raavon

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  • R. Saadia has this text even when kedusha d'sidra isn't said (eg without a minyan).
    – magicker72
    Mar 8, 2023 at 16:08
  • Ginzberg is writing about קדושה דסדרא, and it's not clear that this includes ברוך שבראנו at all (that potentially being an independent collection, as my comment above hinted.)
    – magicker72
    Mar 9, 2023 at 12:56
  • @magicker72 in page 2 of the above is quoting the siddur of rav amrom which is spesficly talking about ברוך ק' שבראנו.... Mar 9, 2023 at 14:53
  • Ah yes sorry, that's true. On the other hand, Ginzberg's equating that part with קדושה דסדרא is a jump (unless he's not, and that citation is only to prove that communal learning used to happen at the end of services).
    – magicker72
    Mar 9, 2023 at 17:22
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    @RabbiKaii That is what i was trying to express. I was planning on doing a little research over shabbos and motzi shabbos... Mar 10, 2023 at 14:26
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In terms of what to think when saying it, the Shelah says:

ברוך הוא אלהינו שבראנו לכבודו והבדילנו מן התועים ונתן לנו תורת אמת וחיי עולם נטע בתוכנו, זכרון טוב תמיד יהיה באמירת זה הנוסח, וכן בכל עת ועת זכור יזכור ידמה כאלו היה שבוי ומנוגע ומוכה ועני מדוכא, ושבוי כולו איתניהו ביה, ובא מלך גדול וגאלו ורוממו וגדלו עד שנתן לו בתו יחידה, הלא שורת הדין נותן כל ימי חייו יומם ולילה לא ישבית מלעבדו עבודה ועבודת משא, ויזכור חסדיו הגדולים בכמה מעלות טובות. על אחת כמה וכמה שפדאו ועשאו בן חורין, ורפאו מכל מחלה, ונתן לו ממון, והעלהו לגדולה מעלה מעלה, עד כי היה חתן המלך:

כך אבותינו, בע' נפש ירדו אבותינו מצרים והיינו שבויים גוי בקרב גוי מוטבעים בתועבות מצרים כמונו כמוהם, והמלך הגדול הקב"ה הראה ידו החזקה ועשה נסים ונפלאות בשידוד המערכת להראות אלהותו ויכולתו והשגחתו על ידינו בהוציאנו מעבדות לחירות, ואז נתן לנו ממונם, וקרבנו לפני הר סיני ונתן לנו בתו היא התורה הקדושה אשר היא גילוי אלהותו ית' בסוד שמותיו אשר בקשוהו מלאכי עליון ואמרו (שבת פח, ב) תנה הודך על השמים (תהלים ח, ב), ואדיר אדירנו ה' אדונינו מה אדיר שמך בכל הארץ רוממנו מכל לשון וקדשנו במצותיו למען החיותנו לעולם שכולו חיים, להיות גדולים צדיקים יותר ממלאכי השרת ומחיצתם לפני מלך מלכי המלכים בכבשם יצר הרע סטרא דמסאבא. ובמתן תורה פנים בפנים דבר ה' אתנו וכרת עמנו ברית, לא את אבותינו בלבד, כי גם אנחנו פה היום כלנו חיים, וזרענו וזרע זרענו עד סוף כל הדורות כולם שוים לטובה במעמד הזה, כי נשמותנו שמה היו, והדבור היה יוצא מפי הקב"ה לכל אחד בפרטיו כאלו היה מדבר עמו לבדו, ועל זה נכרת ברית:

I don't know who wrote it, but it appears in the Siddur of Rav Saadiah Gaon, who lived 882-942 CE.

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Origin

The Tur indicates that the prayer was instituted by the "elders and early prophets." This term, "early prophets," is commonly used to refer to figures such as David, Samuel, and Solomon, as mentioned in Sotah 48b. The "elders" are associated with the period of the Judges, which spans from Joshua to Samuel, as explained in Commentary on Pirkei Avos 1:1. Thus, based on this information, it appears that the prayer was composed towards the end of the period of the Judges, around the 11th century BCE.

Purpose

The composition's overall purpose is elaborated in the Beit Yosef. Regarding this prayer in particular, the Beit Yosef links it with the Kedusha prayer that precedes it, which was instituted due to a ban against Kedusha. After we finish the Kedusha, we express gratitude to G-d for our separation "from those who go astray" referring to those wicked men who would stop the Jews from saying Kedusha.

In his sefer Seder Hayom, Moshe ibn Machir presents another compelling explanation. This "תפלה מפוראה" is the culminating prayer before we conclude the service with Kaddish. Therefore, we conclude with gratitude and praise to the One who granted us the privilege to stand before Him, to be part of His heritage, and to have Him answer our prayers.

~ See Abudraham who explains that this prayer is based on the verse in Yeshaya 43:7: כֹּ֚ל הַנִּקְרָ֣א בִשְׁמִ֔י וְלִכְבוֹדִ֖י בְּרָאתִ֑יו - every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory.

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  • Where do you see the Tur discussing ברוך אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו? He talks about the Kedusha, but he doesn't mention the prayer after it.
    – Learnmore
    Oct 31, 2023 at 2:43
  • You should make it clear in your answer that your first paragraph is discussing the Kedusha. Since the question you are answering doesn't mention the Kedusha, it sounds like you are discussing .ברוך אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו
    – Learnmore
    Nov 1, 2023 at 2:09
  • True, but that doesn't mean ברוך אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו was instituted by the elders.
    – Learnmore
    Nov 1, 2023 at 15:03
  • It is very difficult to say that they added this prayer after the gzeirah was already finished if the whole reason to include is was due to the gzeirah. (The reason we continue saying סדר דקדושא after the gzeirah is that we don't want to stop the minhag.)
    – user6781
    Nov 1, 2023 at 19:13
  • user6781 It wasn't included because of the gezeirah. It is praising Hashem for separating us from those who made the gezeirah. It could very well be that they started saying it at the end after the gezeirah was over when they were not afraid of them anymore. The Bais Yosef says וע"כ אנו מסיימין ברוך אלהינו שבראנו לכבודו והבדילנו מן התועים which kind of sounds like it is something we do that was added later.
    – Learnmore
    Nov 2, 2023 at 2:35
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enter image description hereFirst …….I want to add that this posuk is always used to express huge gratitude to hashem

ועיין בספר שלמי צבור(hebrewbooks.com pages 300-350)מהרי״ט אלגזי שמביא מהרישונים הטעם לומר פה ברוך…..כי פה זה גמר התפלה ולכן כאן אומרים קדיש תתקבל צלותהון ,ואחריו הוא הוספות , ולכן אומרים ברוך הוא ……to show our deepest gratitude that we are able to stand before hashem and he listens to us mortals

In siddur בית יעקב (reb yaakov emmden )before this posuk he writes in small letters “the arizal says that when one says it in prayer he should add lots of simcha and gratitude for giving us the torah that makes us so special

Second…….This part of va ltzion is similar to the two brachos we say on the torah asher …hoamimm,,,,vnusan …tora torah emes,,,,,,chayei olam nota and also the tefilla of yom tov אתה בחרתנו מכל העמים and what they imply is the posuk of והייתם לי סגולה that is the order of our being chosen ….because first we were chosen to be his people (for no reason) then we were separated from all others in mitzraim like a wash and rinse then we got the torah then he let the torah and benei yisroel actually become one

which is the purpose of the creation …….. in reality it’s a full circle

בראנו לכבודו,

הבדילנו, נתןתורה, נטע בתוכנו,

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  • Thank you for this incredible answer. I can't believe how much of a huge impact it has had on my chizuk and connection to yiddishkeit and Hashem. May you be blessed in everything. Shabbat shalom
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 10, 2023 at 17:15
  • gut shabbos. credit to you for asking a question that the rishonim ask
    – user19400
    Mar 10, 2023 at 17:29

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