Monday, May 19, 2008

Haven't Found One for a Sewing Machine Yet

There are many blessings in Judaism, and I find this fascinating.

One of my favorite lines from Fiddler on the Roof has always been, "Rabbi, is there a blessing for the Czar?" "Of course there is a blessing for the Czar. May God bless and keep the Czar... far away from us!" (Followed, naturally, by a rousing chorus of "Tradition!")

And then there's the scene with the sewing machine.

Anyway, a few days ago, I found these, and they make me happy: Daily Prayers of Praise and Gratitude. My favorite is the one for seeing strange people or creatures, but it also delights me that there are blessings for trees, for thunder, for rivers, for scholars, etc. Neither Dustin nor I can quite figure on the last time the blessing for 600,000 Jews was used, though.

Also interesting are the blessings for food. Things I didn't know: a meal is defined as including bread, and when you bless the bread, the blessing extends to the whole meal, except for any wine or grape juice which gets the appropriate blessing. A snack is anything you eat that does not include bread. Blessings over snacks are more complicated, but what I find most interesting is that there are separate blessings for four different kinds of plant-based foods, but all other foods (meat, dairy, fish, mushrooms, eggs, etc.) have but one blessing amongst them. (Click here for a nice summary.) Fascinating!

PS: Thanks to Sharon for mentioning this in the comments: Tradition!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Check out this link to the recent production of Fiddler on the Roof's most famous song...