This poetic prayer, meant to be recited prior to the blessing over the challah, brings one’s intentions toward all of the people, powers, and systems that allowed for the bread to come into existence. Written by Trisha Arlin, a writer, performer and rabbinic student at the Academy of Jewish Religion (AJR), this piece is relevant for anyone looking to enhance their ritual with more meaning, particularly those with a environmental and holistic world view. Arlin’s inspiration for this prayer came from Rabbi Ellen Lippmann‘s tradition for having people create a chain of touch around the room that leads to and from the challah, exemplifying the connection created when people eat together and the chain of work that went to creating the challah itself.
Motzi: A Chain Of Work
Blessed HaMavdeel, the Divider of Time:
For separating the whole into increments that we may comprehend it, we are thankful.
Blessed Adonai Echad, the Uniter Of All Existence:
For connecting us that we may be one, we are thankful.
Blessed Ain Sof, That Which Cannot Be Known:
For providing us with so many interesting questions, we are thankful.
Blessed Ruach HaOlam, The Breath That Animates:
For giving us teachers that we may learn, we are thankful.
Blessed One Who Spoke and created the world:
For this challah, and the portion of dough we take off before we bake it in order to sustain high priests, artists and those who are in need, we are thankful.
Blessed Shechina, the Soul of Eternity, in whose spirit we create:
For the guidance and joy and music and knowledge that our clergy give to us, we are thankful.
Blessed Elohim, God of our ancestors who embodies the chain of work:
For the seed and the farmer and the picker and the miller and the baker and the trucker and the store owner and the shopper, who brought us this challah that we bless together, we are thankful.
Blessed Yah, God of our future who is embodied by the chain of love:
For the parents and the family and the partners and the friends and the teachers and the hevruta and the congregations who brought us to this moment that we may eat together, we are thankful.
(sing) Baruch ata Adonai…
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