This is the opening line of all the Hebrew Blessings.
The English translation: “Blessed are You, Lord” is falling short from capturing the deep essence of this key blessing. “Ba-ruch,” supposedly “blessed,” comes from the infinitive “to bless,” which is an action that can also be performed by humans towards other humans. It suggests that we do have the power to give a blessing to others. Logically, if we have the power to give, we also have the power to withdraw a blessing from others. This may be correct when we bless other people, but completely impossible in relation to God. We cannot withdraw a blessing from Him, and therefore, we lack the power to bless Him as well. We can praise the Lord but blessing the Lord—although we say this expression constantly—is a problematic issue.
This problem only exists in English because of its shortcoming in interpreting the Hebrew term: “ba-ruch,” “blessed.” There is no problem whatsoever in the Hebrew term because its meaning is not “giving blessing to” when it is said in relation to God. The word “ba-ruch” is derived from the word “be-rech,” which is a knee. When you say “ba-ruch” in Hebrew in relation to God, you’re actually saying “I’m kneeling before You, Lord.” The Hebrew meaning of the common word “bless” or “blessed” when speaking to God is then a constant reminder of humility—both to ourselves and to Him—of where exactly we are positioned when talking to Him.
“For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Are we really going to stand with the Lord face to face like two equal friends or perhaps Hebrew can teach us something about humility?
Another example where English falls short in the aspect of reverence can be exposed in Job 2:9. The English Bible says: “Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God, and die.” Although this is what Job’s wife really meant to say to him, these are not the words she said in Hebrew! Because of the uncompromising reverence of the Hebrew tongue, the words “curse” and “God” cannot dwell side by side. The Hebrew text says: “…bless God, and die.” The reader is expected to understand that the meaning of “bless” in this context is exactly the opposite, but the tongue cannot bare the degrading word “curse” attached to the name of God.