“Ana Bakoach”: A Special Prayer

Question

Hi–

I’m trying to find out more about the Ana BaKoach prayer. I know it is traditionally said during Kabbalat Shabbat. Is there another place in our daily or weekly liturgy where I might find it?

Do you know when it first appeared as a prayer?

What else can you tell me about it?

Thanks!

5 months

Answers

  1. Although there is no definitive proof, the accepted opinion is that Anah Bakoach was composed by Rabbi Nechuniah ben Hakanah who lived in the Mishnaic period. It is an extremely esoteric prayer comprised of forty two words the first letter of each word in the prayer represents the forty-two letter Name of God. The Forty-Two Letter Name is one of the most impenetrable and mysterious of God’s Names and it is used to give a special “boost” to our prayers and to take us out of the week and into Shabbat.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team