We begin the first berachah of shemonah esrei by saying ברוך אתה ה׳, we are talking directly to Hashem. We praise him throughout the berachah and towards the end we say that Hashem helps us למען שמו, for the sake of his name. If we are talking to Hashem, shouldn't we say למען שמך, for the sake of your name, not for the sake of his name?

  • 1
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/68946/…
    – rosends
    Jul 7, 2017 at 1:19
  • Everything after hael hagadol could be third person.
    – mevaqesh
    Jul 7, 2017 at 1:34
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    I think the switch to third person is pretty common for brochos - it occurs in the blessing preceding Shma in Shacharis, as well as the first Brocha of Maariv. It's found in the blessing before eating ("bdvaro", not "bdvurecha") and in other blessings as well.
    – Jay
    Jul 7, 2017 at 3:20
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    @Jay - It also happens in normal brachos, beginning with "Boruch ato" (blessed are You) and coming to "asher kid'shonu" (who sanctifies us).
    – ezra
    Jul 7, 2017 at 3:56
  • @ezra yes, that's another good example. It seems pretty ubiquitous. This question should therefore probably be more general - I doubt the answer will be specific to the first brocha of s.e.
    – Jay
    Jul 7, 2017 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


In this “Jewish Action” article there is an answer to your question in a slightly different context:

We say “Baruch Atah Hashem,” addressing God as “You” in the very familiar second person, and in the same breath, we say “Elokeinu Melech haolam,” Our God, King of the universe, recognizing that there is a much bigger picture of which we are a miniscule representation.

We say Avinu, our Father, but we temper it with Malkeinu, our King. We must acknowledge that Hashem is Awesome and Omniscient, so that our prayer can be offered with a proper sense of respect, dignity and humility and that we can fully realize that we are not the axis around which the universe rotates.

But we must also recognize that Hashem is as close as a father and a friend, so that our prayer can be intimate and personal, and we can attempt to close the gap between the finite and the Infinite.


This article from Beureihatefilah lists multiple reasons for why almost every blessing begins in the first person and transitions to the 3rd person. I have excerpted part of Abudraham's explanation. See the rest of the article to get a better concept.

The Even Yarchei wrote: I was asked about the fact that blessings begin by the person referring to G-d as if G-d was immediately in front of the person but end by referring to G-d as if G-d was no longer immediately in front of the person; I found in the Midrash an answer for all of it from a verse in Tehillim: I have set G-d always before me; because when he mentions G-d’s name and says: Blessed are you, it is as if G-d stands in front of him. When he then proceeds to say: King of the world, it is as if G-d is no longer standing in front of him. What the person is trying to say is: that G-d, who is King of the World, is the one who commanded us to perform mitzvot. And the Riyva wrote: that the reason that brachot contain references to G-d as being close and far is because G-d is in fact both close and far; close when you measure G-d’s acts but far when you measure the majesty of G-d. Our souls are also open and hidden, therefore the soul blesses as if it is near and as if it is far as the verses state: “My soul blesses G-d and all that is close to me , His holy name.; my soul blesses G-d and G-d, my G-d, you have become very great; who covers light like a garment; the deep, you covered it like with a garment; at your rebuke they fled.”

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