I remember as a child going over to my family’s Jewish friend’s house and celebrating Hanukkah with her. I can still picture her lighting the menorah. I was thinking about this a few days ago and I started to wonder what blessings Jewish Christian say at Hanukkah. This lead me to research what blessings and prayers Jewish Christians pray.
What prayers do Christian Jews pray? They often pray from the Siddur, which is a Jewish prayer book. The Siddur is filled with beautiful prayers for all occasions, for in the morning time, seasons of mourning, and prayers spoken together at the end of a Jewish prayer service
The Siddur is important to Jews because it is a delightful collection of Hebrew prayers throughout the ages. Here are 8 prayers from the Siddur that are held dearly by Jews.
8 Prayers from the Jewish Prayer Book
These 4 prayers would be used when praying about different topics. The first prayer is a selection of Scripture from Deuteronomy 6 and 11 and Numbers 15.
“Hear O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity.” Shema
The second prayer is taken from Matthew 22:36‒38, which is the greatest command.
“And you shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words which I command you today shall be on your heart.
And you shall teach them to your children,
and speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way,
and when you lie down and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and to be as frontlets between your eyes.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” V’ahavta
This third prayer is commonly said during a time of mourning.
“Glorified and sanctified be His great name in the world which He created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom during your lifetime and during the lifetime of all the house of Israel, speedily, yes soon; and say, amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and forever eternally.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One. Blessed be He who is high above, far above all blessings and hymns and praises and consolations which are spoken in the world; and say, amen.
May there be great peace from heaven and life for us and for all Israel; and say, amen. He who makes peace in the heavenly realms, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.” Mourner’s Kaddish
The fourth prayer is spoken at the end of a Jewish prayer service.
“It is incumbent upon us to praise the Master of all, to exalt the Creator of the world, for He has made us separate from the nations and unique among the families of the earth. Our destiny is not like theirs; our calling is our task.
We bow down and acknowledge before the King of Kings that there is none like Him. For He stretched forth the heavens like a tent and established the earth. Truly there is none like our Lord and King.
As the Torah says, “You shall know this day and reflect in your heart that it is the Lord who is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, there is none else.”
We hope, O Lord our God, to soon behold Your majestic glory when all abominations shall be removed and all false gods shall be at an end.
Then shall the world be perfected under the rule of the Lord Almighty and all mankind shall call upon Your name. For to You every knee must bow and every tongue declare that You are God.
Reign over us soon and forever. May the kingdom of David’s greater son be established forever. For then shall the words be fulfilled, ‘the Lord shall be King forever,’ and ‘The Lord shall be King over all the earth; on that day, the Lord shall be One, and His name One.'” Aleinu
4 Mornings Prayers for the Jewish Prayer Book
These four prayers would be spoken right away in the morning time by Jews.
“I thank you, God, for restoring my soul… Ancient and modern mystical Jews imagine the soul wandering throughout the night, bringing the body to a state of near-death, and it’s with gratitude that we awaken to a new day.” Modeh ani
“Thus says the Lord: I will betroth you to Me forever… with righteousness, justice, love, compassion, and faithfulness. To know that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and to use marriage vows as a symbol, brings a powerful connection between us and God.” V’erastich li
“Praised are You, Lord, who with wisdom fashioned the human body, creating openings…” Asher yatzar
“It is our duty to thank and praise you, to glorify and sanctify Your name. How good is our portion, how pleasant our lot, how beautiful our heritage.” Ashrenu
10 of Blessings for Jewish Christians
Jews have blessings from long ago that they continue to recite today. They have blessings for when they wake up, before eating a meal, for during Hanukkah, and more.
2 Blessing Upon Waking Up
These two blessings would be said upon waking up by a Jew.
“My God, the soul You have given me is pure. You created it, You formed it, and You breathed it into me. and You guard it while it is within me, and one day You will take it from me, and restore it to me in the time to come. As long as the soul is within me, I will thank You, HaShem my God and God of my ancestors, Master of all works, Lord of all souls. Blessed are You, LORD, who restores souls to lifeless bodies.”
“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who restores the eyes of the blind.” Po’ke’ah Ivrim
5 Blessings Before a Meal
These are five traditional Jewish blessings to be spoken before eating a meal.
A blessing when eating fruit, “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.” P’riHa’etz.
A blessing for wine made from grapes, “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.” HaGefen
A blessing when eating grains, “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates varieties of nourishment.” M’zonot
A blessing when eating food directly from the ground. “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground.” HaAdama
A blessing for any food that did not fall into the other four categories. “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, through Whose word everything comes into being.” SheHakol
3 Blessings During Hanukkah
Each one of these three blessings would be said during a certain part of the Hanukkah celebration.
The first blessing is spoken on the first night of Hanukkah. “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.” Shehecheyanuis
Prayer after the candles on the menorah has been light, “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light.”
Lastly, a blessing for miracles, “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time…”