Brachot (Blessings)

Judaism has a very special way of acknowledging Hashem’s soveriegnty over everything in the world. Many daily actions, like waking up and eating, and events, like rain and seeing some new, are sancified by reciting a brachah or blessing.

A Jew should recite 100 brachot a day. This may sound like an unaccomplishable goal, but it is not as difficult as it sounds. For example, the Amidah, a prayer recited three times daily, contains 19 brachot alone. Daily prayer and normal activity will easily cover the 100 brachot.

The difficult part, at least for me, is memorizing the brachot and remembering to say them at the numerous moments that call for a blessing throught the day. Each brachah is only a few lines long, but it is overwhelming to be faced with the task of memorizing them all. A friend of mine, who is also converting, expressed the same concern. I figured learning the brachot and saying the brachot must be a stuggle that many people who are converting to Judaism or Jews who are becoming more observant. For that reason, I decided to share my approach to trying to learn and recite the brachot. I am still in the process of learning and it will take time, but at least it is not as overwhelming and has beeen a good method so far.

Each week, I learn one new brachah. I recite the brachah over and over and write it down several times trying to commit the blessing to memory. During the week I do my very best to not let that particular brachah go unsaid. With each passing week I add in a new brachah and use all the brachot I know during the week. It is a longer method to learning, but I found that I am much more consistent with reciting the blessing and actually learn the blessing by heart.

This slow but steady approach has been my approach to instituting many Jewish practices into my life. I hope it is helpful advice for others who feel overwhelmed learning many prayers, practices and blessings in any religion.