What is the Meaning of a Blessing?


Dear Rabbi,

I have been reading about Jewish life recently, trying to understand what it means to be a Jew. One topic that intrigues me is the concept of saying a blessing. What does a blessing mean in Judaism?




  1. The Hebrew word for blessing is bracha. It is usually said in the context of a blessing to God for food or success. But a blessing can also be said by one person to another, expressing good wishes, such as health, success or happiness.

    The simplest way to understand a blessing is that it a word of praise. When a person says a blessing on food, God is being praised for the food. When a person blesses another person, it is praise and a request from God to help someone or something in need. Therefore, one idea expressed by a blessing is praise of the exalted God, who is all-powerful.

    However, we find in classic Jewish sources yet a deeper meaning of the concept of blessing. Blessing is a word that also means “increase and abundance.” In addition to praising God, a blessing acknowledges that God is the source of all increase and abundance in the world and in our lives.

    Many blessings begin with the words, “Blessed are You, God….” These are words of praise, request and belief that God will increase the flow of Divine energy to cause a positive effect. For example, when a person makes a blessing before eating an apple, the words are not only praise for this apple, but call for an influx of spiritual bounty for all fruit trees in general.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team