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BARUK SHE-AMAR, ("Blessed be He who spoke"):

The initial words of the introductory benediction recited before the reading of the Psalms ("Zemirot") or selections of the Psalms ("Pesuḳe de-Zimrah") in the daily morning service; the corresponding closing benediction being "Yishtabbaḥ," the whole to precede the "Shema'," with its introductory benedictions. The "Baruk She-Amar" consists of two parts: a solemn invocation, probably originally recited with responses and intoned as a recitative, and the main benediction preceding the Psalm-reading. It is composed in the style of the ancient Ḥasidean haggadists, and reminiscences of it occur in the Midrash (Tanna debe Eliyahu, Zuṭṭa, iv.; Sifre, Deut. 49; Mek., Yitro, 8; Shab. 139a; Ber. 57b; Ta'an. ii. 1; Gen. R. vii.). It was in common use in the oldest gaonic period (see Kohut, "'Aruk," s.v. , and Alfasi on Ber. 32a; "Seder Rab Amram," ed. 1865, p. 2), and, to judge from Maḥzor Vitry (ed. 1889, p. 5), known already in Talmudic times. It was invested with mystic awe and significance (see Ṭure Zahab Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 51, 1); the number of "Baruk" (benedictions), which is fifteen, and of all the words, which is eighty-seven (=), having received a peculiar meaning at the hand of the cabalists (see Isaac Aboab, "Menorat ha-Maor," xciii.). Still the additions, made in the Sephardic liturgy on Sabbath and the festival days, and other alterations, caused slight divergences (compare also the version given in Maḥzor Vitry, ed. 1889, p. 61), whereas the German liturgy appears to have adhered more closely to the original form. The position of "Baruk She-Amar" varies also in the Sephardic liturgy. While the German has it at the beginning of the Psalms, the former has it placed—probably on account of late comers—after the recitation of a number of psalms.

Rapoport, in "Bikkure ha-'Ittim," x. 117, has made it probable that originally each of the invocations recited by the reader was followed by the response, "Blessed be He and blessed be His name"; but Baer, in his prayer-book notes, contradicts this. The following is a translation of the "Baruk She-Amar," with additions in parentheses, according to the Maḥzor Vitry, the Seder Rab Amram, and the Abudarham, the latter two corresponding with the Sephardic liturgy:

  • Blessed be He who spoke and the world sprang into existence; blessed be He ! (and blessed be His name).
  • Blessed be the Maker of Creation! (blessed be He and blessed be His name).
  • Blessed be He who speaketh and doeth; blessed be He who decreeth and performeth !
  • Blessed be He who hath mercy upon the earth; blessed be He who hath mercy upon His creatures!
  • Blessed be He who payeth a good reward to those that fear Him ! (blessed be He and blessed be His name).
  • Blessed be He who liveth forever and endureth for eternity; blessed be He who redeemeth and delivereth !
  • (Blessed be He who removeth darkness and bringeth light; blessed be He before whom there is no injustice nor forgetfulness, no regard of countenance nor taking of bribes.
  • Blessed be He who gave to His people Israel the inheritance of Sabbath rest ! [On Sabbath.]
  • Blessed be He who gave festivals of gladness to His people of Israel ! [On festivals.]
  • Blessed be He who gave to His people Israel this day of memorial ! (On New-Year's Day.]
  • Blessed be He who gave to His people Israel the inheritance of rest and of forgiveness and of atonement for the erring; blessed be He ! (and blessed be His name!) [On the Day of Atonement.]).

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the world, O God and merciful Father; praised by the mouth of Thy people, lauded and glorified by the tongue of Thy pious ones [Ḥasidim], and Thy worshipers! As we praise Thee, O Lord our God, with the songs of David Thy servant, with praises and psalms we will magnify, laud, and glorify Thee, and make mention of Thy name, and proclaim Thee our King, O our God, the Only One, the One who liveth throughout all eternity; O King, praised and glorified be Thy great name for ever and ever. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the King who is extolled with praises.

Bibliography:
  • Landshuth. in Edelmann's Hegyon Leb;
  • Baer, 'Abodat Yisrael (prayer-book), 1868, p. 58;
  • Zunz, G. V., 2d ed., p. 389;
  • Kohler, The Psalms in the Liturgy, in Publications of the, Gratz College, 1897, p. 196.
K. M. F. K.
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