Blessings: Ha-tov V’hameitiv and Shehekheyanu

newborn baby wrapped in blue blanket

Jewish tradition encourages the parents of a newborn to express their joy over the birth of their child by means of blessings to God. Nevertheless, since Jewish law attaches great weight to blessings that are recited with God’s name, it establishes the appropriate times for saying these blessings in order to prevent repetition or superfluous recitation. The blessing of Hatov V’hameitiv is unique in that it marks occasions that are considered to bring pleasure to the entire community, and not only an individual. It was customary to recite the blessing of Hatov V’hameitiv only for the birth of a son. The blessing of Shehekheyanu was recited upon the birth of a daughter, a blessing that marked a new and joyous occasion for the individual. Nowadays that women’s social status has changed and the birth of a daughter has also become a communal celebration, one can recite either one of these two blessings. There are even some who consider it a religious imperative to recite the blessing of Hatov V’hameitiv upon the birth of a daughter. Both blessings are meant to be recited at the time that the happy news is received, namely the time of birth. Even if you did not, however, recite either of them at the time, you can recite one of them during the ceremony.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵיטִיב

Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha-olam, ha-tov v’hameytiv.

Blessed are You, oh Lord, our God, King of the universe, who is good and bestows good.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה

Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha-olam shehekheyanu vi-kimanu vi-higiyanu la-z’man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, oh Lord,  our God, King of the universe, who has allowed us to live, has preserved us, and has enabled us to reach this season.

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