most times, the beginning of a beracha is Baruch Atah Adonai, etc. which is usually translated as Blessed are You God, etc.

what does it mean to say that God is blessed? (on the surface it implies someone blessed Him therefore He is blessed.)


5 Answers 5


Pathways to Prayer understands ברוך (Baruch) to be an adjective similar to רחום (Rachum - source of mercy), meaning that HaShem is the source of all blessing.

  • so what are we saying "You Adonai, are the source of all blessing, who commanded us to put on tefilin." doesn't quite fit. perhaps it means the source of everything?
    – ray
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 18:41
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    Or alternately, "You, Adonai, the source of all blessing, have commanded us to..." Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 19:30

Rabbi Yosef Albo, in Sefer Ha-Iqqarim / The Book of Roots, ma'amar sheini, perek 26, elaborates a definition:

ברוך שם משותף, יאמר על מקבל הטוב והשפע מזולתו...ויאמר על נותן הטוב והשפע לזולתו...וזה כי ברכה שם נאמר על ריבוי ותוספת טוב ושפע, וכשיאמר על המקבל ברוך פָּעוּל....וכשיאמר על הנותן יהיה ברוך שם התואר

Barukh is an amphibolous term, used [both] for one receiving good and influx from another...and for one giving good and influx to another....and this is because brakhah is a term denoting increase and addition of goodness and influx, and when it is used for the receiver, [the form of the word is to be construed as] a passive....and when it is used for the giver, [it is to be construed as] an adjective.


In Nefesh Hachaim Sha'ar 2:2, Rav Chaim Volozhin understands blessing to be a request for abundance. He explains that by saying Baruch Atah Hashem, we are effectively requesting for God to manifest himself with greater abundance in this world. I am not a kabbalist, and do not truly understand what this means, but there you go.


The word ברוך is related to the word בריכה, which means a spring. A spring is a source of water which (from our perspective) is increasing its flow without drawing on any previous source. Baruch Ata means "You are the source" - Hashem is the ultimate Source of all existence, and it is the "flow" of "energy" which He infuses into Creation which sustains and maintains it.

  • would you say this is the pshat?
    – ray
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 7:38
  • @ray I'm not sure exactly what you mean with that word. I think it is a rigorous way of defining the word, and I think it happens to fit nicely with the idea of the Nefesh Hachaim, which I would have brought if it wasn't in another answer, of bringing out life from the Source of life. Commented May 12, 2014 at 18:45
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    "בריכה, which means a spring" In Modern Hebrew Bereikha means pool, and so too does JPS translate the word here. Where do you see it used as spring? Classically I'd think that's a Ma'ayan.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 18:25
  • I don't recall the exact location, but I believe the Rashba in a teshuva gives this explanation of the word bereicha (and baruch) Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 5:22
  • according to the vilna gaon there is a break after baruch ata and before Hashem Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 22:16

You the extraordinary in the ordinary the Wellspring of goodness

  • 2
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    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 14:14

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