Friday, June 15, 2018

The Word Baruch and Baruch She'Amar

Rabi Mayer Birnbaum, in Pathway to Prayer says that the word baruch, when used about G-d, is usually mistranslated. He cites Avdraham, Ibn Ezra, Sefer HaChinuch and others who take this approach:
He quotes Avudraham as saying, "Baruch is not a verb, but is like rachum and chanun, and means that He Himself is the Source of Blessing."
With this is in mind, coupled with the approach of R. Aryeh Kaplan that davening is meant to be a meditative experience, I thought of an idea. R Kaplan's theory is based in part on the Gemorah (Brachot 32b, discussing Mishnah) which speaks of how righteous people in days of old used to spend a very long time on prayer - before, during, and after (I'd cite more of his sources but don't have the book with me). R Kaplan also gives sources for Jewish meditation that includes mantras.
The prayer Baruch She'Amar includes many repetitions of the word baruch. Perhaps it is, at least in part, meant to be a meditation of this word and how it means that Hashem is the source of all blessing.


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