A Blessing for the Web

[Ruben Frankenstein kindly makes this offering to the new website, with explanation for our many non-Jewish readers. -Ed.]

The jewish expression for thanksgiving with a blessing and a benediction on the occasion of accomplishing a new book or web site:

! ברוך אתה, יי אלהינו, מלך העולם, שהחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה. אמן

Baruch ata, adonai eloheynu, melech ha'olam, shehechejanu vekiyemanu vehigi'anu lazman haze!
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive to this time. Amen!
Or: Blessed is the Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season. Amen!

The shorter version especially for not practicing Jews (like me):

! שהחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

shehechejanu vekiyemanu vehigi'anu lazman haze!
Who have kept us alive and have preserved us and enabled to reach this period!

The shortest version (in one word) :
Who have kept us alive! - Shehechejanu

! שהחיינו

In Leo Rosten´s "The Joys of Yiddish" you find a symilar explanation and how the word is to be pronounced for Americans: "sheh-heh-kheh-yaw-noo" to rhyme with "fella macaw Lou", Hebrew: "that He let us live". A Jew "makes SHEHECHEYANU" on the three major festivals of the year: Pessach, Succoth and Shavuoth. In addition, when an orthodox Jew moves into a new home, or puts a new suit, or eats the first fruit of the season, etc. he "makes SHEHECHEYANU". The verb inside this expression means not only: to let live, keep alive; but also: to enliven, give life, revive, resurrect, bring back to life, animate, refresh, nourish. And in some way that is what you have done - for your father. That was a MITZVA! (a religious duty and a meritorious good deed).

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