gratitude_boyThe word baruch—blessing—is different than the word for prayer. To pray, from the Latin, is to beg, to plead. The spiritual implies, in English, separation between the material and the spiritual. In Judaism we use the a b'racha, and it comes from the same word for your knees.

The idea is when you bless God, it is not begging or pleading. It is an act of gratitude, bending the knee for God, symbolically. Whenever you recite, "Holy One of blessing, your presence fills creation," you are acknowledging an act of gratitude. Each time a Jew recites a blessing, they are basically saying, "Pay attention, something awesome is happening all around us." 

In this way you realize, again and again, that our everyday world is full of mysteries and wonder.

Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Jewish Spirituality


tip to try

Use your body to help focus your attention on the holy wonders that exist around you. Standing firmly on both feet, take a step forward and bend your knee in thanksgiving. Then stretch your arms high above you and reach toward the sky in praise.