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

Transliteration
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.

“Melech” Version

Transliteration
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz.

“Ruach” Version

This version uses the word “ruach” instead of “melech.” Melech means king or ruler, whereas ruach means spirit or wind. This version is popular with those involved in the Jewish Renewal movement. Check out this essay about the difference between the word choices from a Reform rabbi.

Transliteration
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Ruach ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz.

OneTable

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is funded to support people (21-39ish), not in undergraduate studies, and without an existing weekly Shabbat practice, looking to find and share this powerful experience.

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