I will be unable to light the shabbos candles this coming Friday, but my husband will do it. Can I have a phonetic printing of the Hebrew blessing for him.


1 Answer 1


@DoubleAA says that you might be asking for the transliteration of the bracha so here it is.

"barukh attah adonay eloheinu melekh haolam asher kiddeshanu bemitzvotav vetzivvanu lehadlik neir shel shabbat"

Yes, the answer to your question is that he can use a transliteration in order to be able to say the blessings properly.

As a practical matter, it would be better to go over it with him first so that he can say it properly. You should also go over the translation so that he understands what he is saying. However, that is not necessarily required.

For example Prayers and Blessings

Hebrew: The Language for Prayer

The Talmud states that it is permissible to pray in any language that you can understand; however, traditional Judaism has always stressed the importance of praying in Hebrew. A traditional Chasidic story speaks glowingly of the prayer of an uneducated Jew who wanted to pray but did not speak Hebrew. The man began to recite the only Hebrew he knew: the alphabet. He recited it over and over again, until a rabbi asked what he was doing. The man told the rabbi, "The Holy One, Blessed is He, knows what is in my heart. I will give Him the letters, and He can put the words together."

There are many good reasons for praying in Hebrew: it gives you an incentive for learning Hebrew, which might otherwise be forgotten; it provides a link to Jews all over the world; it is the language in which the covenant with G-d was formed, etc. To me, however, the most important reason to pray in Hebrew is that Hebrew is the language of Jewish thought.

Any language other than Hebrew is laden down with the connotations of that language's culture and religion. When you translate a Hebrew word, you lose subtle shadings of Jewish ideas and add ideas that are foreign to Judaism. Only in Hebrew can the pure essence of Jewish thought be preserved and properly understood. For example, the English word "commandment" connotes an order imposed upon us by a stern and punishing G-d, while the Hebrew word "mitzvah" implies an honor and privilege given to us, a responsibility that we undertook as part of the covenant we made with G-d, a good deed that we are eager to perform.

This is not to suggest that praying in Hebrew is more important than understanding what you are praying about. If you are in synagogue and you don't know Hebrew well enough, you can listen to the Hebrew while looking at the translation. If you are reciting a prayer or blessing alone, you should get a general idea of its meaning from the translation before attempting to recite it in Hebrew. But even if you do not fully understand Hebrew at this time, you should try to hear the prayer, experience the prayer, in Hebrew.

  • 1
    lol i don't think this answers the intended question.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 1:32
  • @DoubleAA The answer is "yes you can provide a phonetic transliteration to him". I just added a pointer which mentions why and goes into the subject a little more. I will add that explicitly. Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 3:49
  • I think the expected answer was something like "here you go: barukh attah adonay eloheinu melekh haolam asher kiddeshanu bemitzvotav vetzivvanu lehadlik neir shel shabbat"
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 3:51
  • @DoubleAA OH (embarassed blush). I read "Can I" as "Am I allowed to". I will add your comment to the answer. I expected that since she would normally say it herself, should would be able to write down a phonetic transliteration of what she says. Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 3:53

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