Hebrew for Shabbat Evening
If you are just getting started with Hebrew at home, here are a few basic blessings that are used at the Friday night Shabbat dinner. All page numbers given correspond to our Reform siddur (prayerbook).
Blessing after lighting the Shabbat candles
Page 447 in the siddur.
Before the meal starts, the custom is to light Shabbat candles. There are typically two candles, although some families light an extra candle for each additional family member. The Shabbat candles are lit immediately before reciting the blessing.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת
Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu lihadlik ner shel Shabbat.
Blessing for wine
Page 452 in the siddur.
After the candle lighting, but before the meal begins, it is customary to recite kiddush. Kiddush is a ritual whereby we declare Shabbat to be holy, and is said with a glass of wine or grape juice, signifying the joy of Shabbat. On Erev Shabbat, Friday night, this consists of saying one Biblical passage (Genesis 2:1-3), the blessing over the wine (below), and then a blessing over Shabbat and then drinking the wine or juice following the recitations. While blessing wine by itself does not constitute kiddush, for Hebrew beginners this one line blessing is an excellent place to start.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגֶּֽפֶן
Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ri ha-gafen.
Blessing for bread
Page 453 in the siddur.
This blessing may be said over any meal that has bread, not just Shabbat dinner. First one recites the blessing, and then one eats a small bit (or more!) of bread. Afterwards, the meal has begun.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּֽוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ
Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam, ha-motzi lechem min ha-arets.