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The Seven Blessings

Explanation

The Seven Blessings are a key part of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. The blessings are adapted from ancient rabbinic teachings, beginning with the blessing over the wine and ending with a communal expression of joy.

In many ceremonies the prayers are read or chanted in both Hebrew and English. There are also numerous modern English variations on the blessings.

Many couples also ask friends or relatives to read some or all of the blessings, or may ask all the guests in attendance to read the blessings from a wedding program. Some couples create their own blessings, or ask honored guests to create their own.

The Traditional Hebrew transliteration and English translation of the blessings follow:

 

  1. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration
    :
    Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, boreh p'ri ha-gafen.
  2. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has created everything for your glory.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration
    :
    Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, she-hakol barah lichvodo.
  3. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of Human Beings.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration
    :
    Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, yotzer ha-adam.
  4. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has fashioned human beings in your image, according to your likeness and has fashioned from it a lasting mold. Blessed are You Adonai, Creator of Human Beings.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration:
    Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam betzalmo, b'tzelem dmut tavnito, vehitkon lo mimenu binyan adei ad. Baruch Atah Adonai yotzer ha-adam.
  5. Bring intense joy and exultation through the ingathering of Her children (Jerusalem). Blessed are You, Adonai, are the One who gladdens Zion (Israel) through Her children's return.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration:
    Sos tasis v'tagel ha-akarah, b'kibbutz bane'ha letocha b'simchaa. Baruch Atah Adonai, mesame'ach tzion b'vaneha.
  6. Gladden the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creatures in the garden of Eden. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who gladdens this couple.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration:
    Sameach te-samach re'im ahuvim, k'samechacha yetzircha b'Gan Eden mi-kedem. Baruch Atah Adonai, mesame'ach chatan v'kalah.
  7. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, loving couples, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, loving communities, peace, and companionship. Adonai, our God, let there soon be heard in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the voice of the loving couple, the sound of the their jubilance from their canopies and of the youths from their song-filled feasts. Blessed are You Who causes the couple to rejoice, one with the other.

    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration:
    Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher barah sasson v'simcha, chatan v'kalah, gila rina, ditza v'chedva, ahava v'achava, v'shalom v're'ut. Me-hera Adonai Eloheinu yishama b'arei yehudah u'vchutzot yerushalayim, kol sasson v'eKol simcha, kol chatan v'ekol kalah, kol mitzhalot chatanim me-chupatam, u'nearim mimishte neginatam. Baruch Atah Adonai mesame'ach chatan im hakalah.

 


Alternative Program Definitions

  • Seven blessing are traditionally recited during a Jewish wedding, after a couple shares vows and exchanges rings. The words that are spoken are meant to link the couple to faith in God as Creator of the world, Bestower of joy and love, and the ultimate Redeemer.
  • Seven blessings are recited with themes that include the creation of the world and humankind, the importance of marriage, and the hope for harmony in the world.

 


Alternative Wording and Explanations

[A] and [B] I now bless you with these traditional blessings.
(Hebrew before English for each blessing)
Blessed are you, God, who created life.
Blessed are you, God, who created loving people.
Blessed are you, God, who unites loving couples.
Bless these two who stand before you as you blessed the first couple in the Garden of Eden.
Blessed are you, God, who grants the joy of marriage.
May we all see the day when the world will echo with the sounds of feasting and singing. Praised is love, blessed be this union.

This cup of wine is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share this cup of wine, you promise to share all that the future may bring. As you drink from this cup, so may you draw contentment, comfort, and happiness from your own cup of life. May you find life's joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed by true respect, companionship and love.

 


The First Blessing is "Kiddush"--sanctification of God's name over the wine.
The Second and Third Blessings celebrate the theme of creation in a sequence that builds to the blessing of marriage.
The Fourth Blessing is a challenge to fulfill the potential for creativity, blessing, and peace.
The Fifth Blessing affirms that the couple's marriage is made up of both passion and friendship.
The Sixth Blessing blesses the couple separately. Their relationship as beloved companions requires that each be able to stand alone even as they come together, bringing individual gifts to the marriage.
The Seventh Blessing brings the couple to rejoice together, united in gladness, surrounded by ten shades of joy and a chorus of jubilant voices.

 


May you be generous and giving with each other.
May your sense of humor and playful spirit always continue to enliven your relationship.
May you always respect the diversity of humankind.
May you act with compassion to those less fortunate and with responsibility to the communities of which you are a part.
May you appreciate and complement each other's differences.
May you always share yourselves openly with your friends and family.
May your home be a haven of blessing and peace.

 


Blessed are You God, Source of the world, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Blessed are You God, Light of Life, who created everything for your glory.
Blessed are You God, Spirit of all things, who has created the human being.
Blessed are You God, Foundation of every life, who fashioned humanity in Your likeness, and prepared for us a shape and form in your image, from one generation to the next and for all eternity. Blessed are You God, who has created human beings.
Zion will surely celebrate and exult in the coming together of her children. Blessed are You God, who brings joy to Zion through her children.
Give pleasure to these beloved companions as you did to your creation in the Garden of Eden so long ago. Blessed are you God, who makes the hearts of this couple rejoice.
Blessed are You God, Source of the universe, who has created each of these two people, their delight and their happiness, their rejoicing and singing and dancing and festivity, love and friendship, peace and pleasure. Oh God, may the voices of this celebration be heard in the streets of our cities and the hills of our countryside. May the words of this couple go out with gladness from their wedding huppah, and may the music of their friends and guests surround them. Blessed are You God, who brings joy to the hearts of this couple.

 


The Seven Blessings

Adapted from Deena Metzger

Blessed is the one who created the fruit of the vine. Bless the two of you who come out of long traditions of struggling to find out what it is to be human. May you be full of the wine of life. May the life force and the knowledge of the human heart always be with you.

Blessed is the One. All creation mirrors your splendor and reflects your radiance. Bless the two of you. May the two of you know that all beauty comes from the Great Heart, and may you always live in its radiance.

Blessed is the one who created human beings. Bless the two of you. May you know it all--joy and struggle, beauty and sorrow, sweat, tears, solitude, companionship, laughter and ecstasy. May your marriage be strong enough to support you to experience whatever you must as you come to know yourselves and each other and to discover the entire range of your humanity in the process of soul making.

Blessed is the one who created Woman and Man in the divine image, so we may live, love and perpetuate life. Bless the two of you. May you delight in the wonder and impossibility of the fact that you are so similar and so different--may the difficulty and enormous pleasure of being a man and woman continually fascinate and engage you and be the source of your bonding.

Blessed is the one who brings people together and unites the divided. In joy we have come to witness this marriage of many cultures. It is said that everyone gets married at a wedding. Bless the two of you who bring us together through your union today.

Blessed is the one who rejoices that the love between this woman and this man is as the very first love in the Garden. Bless the two of you who recreate the world for us and for yourselves. May your love be as old and as new as the first love, and may you also bring new life, in all its forms, into the world.

Blessed is the creation of joy and celebration, lover and beloved, gladness and jubilation, pleasure and delight, love and solidarity, friendship and peace. Soon may we hear in the streets of the city and the paths of the fields the voice of joy, the voice of gladness, the voice of lover, the voice of beloved, the triumphant voice of lovers from the canopy and the voice of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed is the joy of lovers, one with another.

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?Blessed are You, my God" in Hebrew. Introductory words to many Jewish prayers. The language of Judaism. Used in prayer in most synagogues and the official language of the state of Israel. Also refers to Jews, especially before they entered Israel and were given the Torah, as in "the ancient Hebrews." A huppah--often spelled ?chuppah?--is a Jewish wedding canopy with four open sides. A Jewish wedding ceremony typically occurs under a huppah. Blessing over wine that sanctifies Shabbat or the holidays.