African Culture

Blessings: Blessings Before Consuming Food and Drink

Shalom, everyone! The following are blessings that are traditionally recited prior to the consumption of food and drink. Though these specific blessings are a post-exilic tradition, it is a good practice to thank YAH for blessing us with food and drink to sustain us, remembering that He is our provider. All creation belongs to YAH and exists because of YAH. Man owns nothing and can do nothing on his own. Please note that blessings should only be recited over food and drink permitted for consumption according to the Torah. It is forbidden to recite blessings over items the Torah forbids us to consume.

Prior to consuming a meal with more than one type of food (combined foods), the following is the general order in which these blessings should be recited, except on Shabbat and Yom Tov, when the blessing over wine takes precedence:

  1. Hamotzi – on bread
  2. Mezonot – on cakes, crackers
  3. Hagefen – on wine
  4. Ha’etz – on fruits
  5. Ha’adama – on vegetables
  6. Shehakol – on all other foods, on drinks etc.

Disclaimer: Please note that whenever speaking directly to YAH through prayer, worship, reciting blessings, or reading the Holy Scriptures, one may say YAH’s Name, “YHƲH” (pronounced “Yeh-Veh”), however, please do so carefully with reverence and humility. YAH’s Name should never be used in casual conversation, neither should His Name be used in any place where there is uncleanness, filth, immodesty, idolatry, sexual perversion, nor should the Name ever be used in insults, profanity or unclean words. One should never curse YAH’s Name as by doing so one will incur severe penalties. YAH is very jealous for His Name and will not hold the one guiltless who misuses His Name.

Blessings Over Food

Netilat Yadayim (Ritual Washing of Hands) – prior to eating a meal with bread “Blessed are You YHƲH our Elohim, King of the universe Who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us on the washing of the hands.”
HaMotzi (Bread) – for bread made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt. “Blessed are You, YHƲH our Elohim, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.”
Mezonot (Grains) – Food made from grains but are not bread, such as crackers, cookies, cereals, cakes, pastries, pasta and other cooked grain products “Blessed are you YHƲH our Elohim, King of the Universe, Who creates various kinds of sustenance.”
HaGefen (Wine or Grape Juice) “Blessed are You, YHƲH our Elohim, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.”
Ha’etz (Fruits) – Under Jewish law, a fruit is defined as something which grows from perennial trees, does not renew its stem, and does not grow closely to the ground. Examples include apples, pears, grapes, nuts (except peanuts). “Blessed are You, YHƲH our Elohim, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.”
Ha’adama (Vegetables or Ground Provisions) “Blessed are You, YHƲH our Elohim, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground.”
Shehakol (Everything else) – All foods which do not fall into any of the above categories including water and other drinks (except wine/grape juice), soups, animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy), candy, etc. “Blessed are You, YHƲH our Elohim, King of the universe, by Whose word everything comes into being.”



Categories: African Culture, Blessings, Food

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