Table with all different types of food- fruit, veggies, bread, pastries, eggs, arranged in rainbow color

Text and Meaning – Deconstructing the basic components of a bracha.

Text and Meaning – Deconstructing the basic components of a bracha.

Simmons, Rabbi Shraga
January 16, 2023

The structure and texts of all brachot were formulated by the Sages of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesset HaGedola), the authoritative rabbinic body during the Second Temple period.


The Knesset was made up of spiritual giants, including numerous prophets, all of whom had mastered the entire Torah including the secrets of kabbalah. The brachot they authored were imbued with many layers of meaning, and each word was carefully formulated for its significance and accuracy.


The Sages assigned these texts exclusive halachic validity as brachot (in Hebrew, mat’beya shel bracha). This means that today, we may not alter the prescribed text of a bracha or invent our own bracha; doing so may result in uttering God’s name in vain, a prohibition of the Ten Commandments.”


Understanding the meaning of the blessing that one is reciting is proper. Yet, there is extraordinary power in reciting the original Hebrew text as formulated by spiritual giants. Thus one should make sure to use an accurate translation or study the meaning in one’s language and then recite it in the original Hebrew (transliterations are available for those who do not read Hebrew).