The word ' bareich ', usually translated as 'Bless!' is actually rooted in the word ' bereicha ', which means 'pool'. Technically speaking, a ' bereicha ' is a pool that receives the water of a ' ma'ayan ', a spring or well. Water emerges from the earth through a ma'ayan and pools together in a bereicha .

A beracha, then, while usually translated as a blessing, is actually a place where certain spiritual energies and resources pool together.  When we say a blessing over an apple, for example, we are calling for the Source of All Energy to gather some of that energy into this apple.  When we bless after a meal, we ask that the Source of All Energy pour some of that energy into the meal that has been eaten and to pour some of that energy into the new, post-meal us.

Rav Kook writes that, with Birkat Hamazon (prayer of gratitude after meals), we are not merely invoking blessing over the food─we are invoking blessing over the entire Seder. We have done so much tonight. We have created vessels in which to receive and hold that Energy - through our conversation, our realizations, our learning and our silence, our refinement of understanding, our new knowledge of ourselves and of others, through having eaten karpas and matzah and marror, through having spoken and sung and praised.  .

While each of these may have been satisfying in and of itself, they also serve as vessels to hold resources for the future. The Birkat Hamazon , then, actually blesses so many aspects of our lives that continue to impact us, including leaving Egypt and the house of bondage, the covenant we have agreed to, the Torah we have been taught, and so much more.

haggadah Section: Cover
Source: original