Build a Prayer

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Technically, a meal is considered any repast in which bread is consumed, so Jewish meals begin with the blessing over bread and then the sharing of bread together. The accompanying blessing is widely known to most Jews, who have heard it since childhood and who may even have memorized it just by having said it so often.

Many Jews follow traditional Jewish precedent by beginning every meal this way; others reserve it for festive occasions like wedding banquets or holiday dinners. In any case, saying it accomplishes two things. First, it draws attention to the privilege of having food to eat. Second, the blessing’s words connect an ordinary meal with a symbolic lesson about the end of time.

The words of the blessings are succinct and to the point: “Blessed are You, Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.”

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