While Jewish tradition is full of blessings and prayers of gratitude, there is one that perfectly sums up the mindset of appreciation: The Shehecheyanu blessing. Literally, Shehecheyanu means “that we are alive”, and it is a statement of recognizing time and appreciating that we are alive in this moment. It is designed to enable us to offer thanks for new and unusual experiences- such as the birth of a child, seeing a friend after a long time, tasting a fruit for the first time this season or wearing a new piece of clothing. It is also recited at the beginning of the celebration of many holidays- while lighting the holiday candles or reciting the blessing over the wine.
The Shehecheyanu Blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
Transliteration: Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Translation: Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this moment.
For what are you grateful that you are alive in this moment?
Explore a series of prayers written by contemporary liturgist Alden Solovy, celebrating the gifts of creativity. Inspired by his writing, let’s explore opportunities to recognize ourselves.