בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּ֒שָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָֽיִם:
Blessed1The word “blessed” is similar in concept to the words: “merciful” or “gracious” when applied to God. Just as merciful means that He is merciful, the source of mercy; so too, blessed means that He is the source of blessing.—Avudraham are You, Adonoy2Generally speaking, the name Adonoy is understood as it is pronounced—Adonoy—my Master, and indicates His rule and providence of the universe. When reciting the Shema however, one should bear in mind the written character of the Name which indicates God’s everpresent existence. He was—is—and ever will be.—Vilna Gaon our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the washing of hands.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה וּבָֽרָא בוֹ נְקָבִים נְקָבִים חֲלוּלִים חֲלוּלִים גָּלוּי וְיָדֽוּעַ לִפְנֵי כִסֵּא כְבוֹדֶֽךָ שֶׁאִם יִפָּתֵֽחַ אֶחָד מֵהֶם אוֹ יִסָּתֵם אֶחָד מֵהֶם אִי אֶפְשַׁר לְהִתְקַיֵּם וְלַעֲמֹד לְפָנֶֽיךָ אֲפִילוּ שָׁעָה אֶחָת. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה רוֹפֵא כָל בָּשָׂר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשׂוֹת:
Blessed are You, Adonoy our God, King of the Universe, Who formed man with wisdom3This may mean either that man was formed by God’s wisdom, or that God formed man and endowed him with wisdom. and created within him openings and hollows. It is obvious and known in the presence of Your glorious throne4In refutation of those who claim that God is not concerned with earthly matters, we declare that even in the presence of His glorious throne, where He is surrounded by myriads of angels, He is aware of the mundane needs of each individual.—Vilna Gaon that if one of them were ruptured, or if one of them were blocked, it would be impossible to exist and stand in Your Presence even for a short while. Blessed are You, Adonoy, Who heals all flesh and performs wonders.
אֱלֹהַי, נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַֽתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ אַתָּה נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי וְאַתָּה מְשַׁמְּ֒רָהּ בְּקִרְבִּי וְאַתָּה עָתִיד לִטְּ֒לָהּ מִמֶּֽנִּי וּלְהַחֲזִירָהּ בִּי לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא, כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהַנְּ֒שָׁמָה בְקִרְבִּי מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים אֲדוֹן כָּל הַנְּ֒שָׁמוֹת: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה הַמַּחֲזִיר נְשָׁמוֹת לִפְגָרִים מֵתִים:
My God! the soul which You bestowed in me is pure; You created it, You formed it, You breathed it into me and You preserve it within me. You will eventually take it from me, and restore it in me in the time to come.5This statement refers to the time when the dead will be resurrected. So long as the soul is within me I give thanks to You, Adonoy my God,6Thus it is said, “I will praise Adonoy with my life, I will sing to my God with my being” (Psalms 146:2). and God of my fathers, Lord of all creatures, Master of all souls. Blessed are You, Adonoy, Who restores souls to dead bodies.7This is a reference to God’s restoring of the soul each morning following its departure while the person sleeps.