Earth Blessing #1: Sheh-ka-khah Lo

Earth Blessings

Bill is offering a series of blessings for earth as part of our study this year.  This is his first offering, a general blessing for the discovery of wonder in nature all around us.  His comments:

  1. This blessing is for “on seeing the small-scale wonders of nature, such as beautiful trees, animals, and people.”  There is a different blessing for big stuff, such as oceans and mountains.
  2. As Jews, we do not bless the spirits of the tree, or the animal; we bless G*d who creates all beauty in the world.  Beauty is a way for us to connect to the holy expression of G*d in this world.
  3.  One way of reading the Hebrew is that this this beauty is for Him (G*d).  There is a teaching that G*d created Creation for His joy.
  4. Typically the translation says “Who has things such in His world,” but a closer reading of the Hebrew eliminates “things” and says just “such in His world.”  This implies you must be in the presence of the thing of beauty to say the blessing.  While the object of beauty remains third-person (I/they) in the blessing, saying “such,” instead of “such things” creates a more intimate, personal relationship with the object.
  5. The last two words, “lo b’olamo,” rhyme.
  6. The last sound of the last two words is “o.”  This is the sound people make when they encounter wonder, which is one reason why this blessing is a good one to use when you are feeling awe in the presence of beauty. 

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