Blessing Over Bread (Motzi) Audio
In the ancient near east, if there wasn’t bread on the table it wasn’t a meal, and as a result the Jewish sages viewed bread as the primary source of nourishment, both literally and spiritually. Challah, the slightly sweet, ridiculously good braided bread many enjoy at modern Shabbat dinners, comes from a commandment in the Torah requiring the Israelites to set aside a portion of dough every week as an offering; that donation was called challah. Check out the full challah story here.
The blessing recited over bread is called “Motzi.” In some traditions just the person reciting the prayer holds the loaf, or two loaves held together. In other traditions everyone present touches the challah, or touches someone who is touching the challah, as the prayer is said or sung.
Thanks to Shira Kline, award-winning performer and music educator, and Josh Nelson, influential composer and performer, for these incredible audio recordings.
Spoken in Hebrew
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz.
Spoken in English
Blessed are You, Infinite One, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
This version uses the word ruach (which means spirit, breath, or wind) instead of melech (which means king). The ruach version is popular with those involved in the Jewish Renewal Movement. Click here to learn more about the difference between the word choices.
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Ruach ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz.