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baruch hu shemo (a new Lodzer tradition - Thanks Rabbi Eli)

posted 12 Apr 2016, 07:17 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin   [ updated 19 Apr 2016, 10:18 ]


Baruch shemo or baruch hu shemo ... means “Blessed is G-d’s name.” (Literally, it’s “blessed is his name” but of course G-d has no gender.) It’s a little addition that some people like to make to the blessing, when the blessing includes the Name of G-d, or rather, the stand-in for the Name.  (example: Baruch Atah A… congregation: baruch hu shemo)

In congregations where this response to the Name is common, service leaders often pause slightly for it, so that it will not obscure the rest of the words of the prayer.

Jewish prayer is active and interactive. We sing, we chant, we have choreography, and depending on the custom (minhag) of the congregation, there is room for improvisation. This is one example of the way that Jews make the traditional prayers our own. (coffeeshoprabbi)


You say tomato, Rafi says...
Baruch Hu U'Varuch Shemo
If there's any controversy among the orthodox, it's not what to say, it's when to say it.
There are two blessings -- no shortcuts.

And the official word from our Rabbi Eli:
Rafi is certainly correct, the phrase is Baruch Hu uVaruch Shemo, literally "Blessed is He, and Blessed is His Name".

The thought behind the practice is to enable those who respond to join in the blessing with the person saying it (considered to be slightly different with a simple Amen, which can be a form of acknowledgement).

That's why we say it in some situations, like an individual reciting blessing over the Torah, but not others, like HaMotzi over the bread, when those who listen and respond Amen are already included in the mitzvah, and the one person saying the Brachah is merely an agent acting on behalf of everyone around formally performing it.

This abbreviated excerpt from Rabbinic scholasticism may shed a little light on the proportion of lawyers to people of other trades in Jewish population. :)

In the most Orthodox communities, you will find people calculating very carefully and learning precisely in what situations it should, and where it should not be said. Also, there are significant difference in that respect between the customs of the Hassidim, Misnagdim, and definitely Sephardim (as though you would expect us to totally agree on anything).

In our congregation, it is used not only as joining in the blessing but also, and even more importantly, as a way of appreciation and encouragement for the person having an Aliyah. Then, of course, on Shabbat morning you can also use it by way of statement, in an "I am awake!" fashion.

Rabbi Eli

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