Sheva Brachot

(7 Blessings)

During the wedding ceremony, the "Seven Blessings" are a meaningful way for a couple to receive blessings from their community.  Some couples ask friends or relatives to read all of the traditional blessings in Hebrew and/or English, some ask their loved ones to read alternative interpretations of the blessings and some 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.  Rabbi Malka can help you decide which version of the blessings are right for your ceremony.

What are the blessings about?

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 10 shades of joy and a chorus of jubilant voices.

 

The traditional English translation of the blessings with Hebrew transliteration:

  1. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
    Phonetic Hebrew transliteration: Baruch Atah AdonaiEloheinu 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 translations and interpretations:


1.  Blessed are you, God, who created life.
2.  Blessed are you, God, who created loving people.
3.  Blessed are you, God, who unites loving couples.
4.  Bless these two who stand before you as you blessed the first couple in the Garden of Eden.
5.  Blessed are you, God, who grants the joy of marriage.
6.  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.

7.  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.

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

1.  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.

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  Blessed is the one who created us 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.

5.  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.

6.  Blessed is the one who rejoices that the love between these two people 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.

7.  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.

--Adapted from Deena Metzger

1. We acknowledge the Unity of all, expressing our appreciation for life’s sweetness.

2. We acknowledge the Unity of all, realizing that we are deeply interconnected. May you find comfort in your similarities and celebrate the qualities which make you different. May you be inspired each day by the abundance and diversity of the natural world.

3. We acknowledge the Unity of all, recognizing and appreciating the blessing of being human. All people have the capacity for love, generosity, kindness and compassion. May you express these qualities freely with each other and be blessed to receive them throughout your lives together.

4. May rejoicing resound throughout the world. May we envision a world in which persecution and oppression cease and all people and animals learn to live together in peace with each other and in harmony with their environment.

5. From the Source of all, we call forth an abundance of love to envelop this couple. May you be for each other true partners, companions and best friends. 

6. We acknowledge the Unity of all, and we highlight today joy and gladness, bride and groom, delight and cheer, love and harmony. May we all witness the day when the dominant sounds through the world will be the sounds of happiness, laughter and celebration.

7. Blessed be this marriage. May the bride and groom rejoice together.

--By Rabbi Amber Powers

1) Blessed is the earth, our provider. In her grows the fruit of the vine.

2) Glorious is each thing, for “all things are beautiful in their time.”

3) We are blessed by those who created us and who helped make us the people we are today.

4) Blessed is life. Life contains infinite diversity in infinite combinations. It is a process of growth and change. May we continue to grow together.

5) Blessed are those who bring people together and unite the divided, this work transforms our world and expresses hope for future generations.

6) May this couple continue to experience the joys of loving companionship, as others have before them. Blessed are those who brighten this day and rejoice together.

7) We are thankful for all that is good in this world. For good cheer and mirth, for lovers, music and celebration, kindness and affection, for loving communities, peace and companionship. May we hear the jubilant voices of people who love and people who are loved echo throughout the world. May we hear the voices of those who are silenced and those who have yet to be heard. May sounds of joy expressed by all life ring across the universe. Blessed are those who bring joy with them.

Questions?