The home is quite important in Judaism, as it considered to be the place where children learn about the basics of Judaism before they enter school and is the place where children learn how they are expected to behave. With such importance placed on the home, it is not surprise that there are different blessings in Judaism associated with the home. One of the most common blessings that is frequently given as a gift at housewarming parties or weddings is the Home Blessing.
What is a House Blessing?
The Home Blessing, or Birkat HaBayit, is a short blessing that is mounted on the wall of a house that wishes peace and blessings upon the residents and banishes any sort of discomfort, disagreement or other negative emotions or interactions from the home. Home Blessings can be an any language, although they are usually in Hebrew. The English text of the Home Blessing reads: “Let no sadness come through this gate, let no trouble come to this dwelling, let no fear come through this door, let no conflict be in this place, let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace.”
Home Blessings can be from nearly any material imaginable, although they are usually metal, glass, wood, stone or cloth. Precious metals such as sterling silver and gold are commonly used as accent pieces.
Home Blessings typically have the text in the center in a clear font. The text is decorated along the sides with designs such as intricate floral patterns and homes. Judaica items and Israel related themes are also popular, including items such as Menorahs and the word “Chai” as well as the Seven Species of fruits and grains Israel is known for and views of Jerusalem and other holy cities in Israel. Symbols of good luck an Divine Protection such as Hamsas and Stars of David also commonly appear with Home Blessings.
Home Blessings can also be be different shapes, although they usually appear as pictures in a frame. One of the most common shapes used with Home Blessings is the Hamsa, which is a traditional Mediterranean symbol of good luck that is attributed to Moses’ (Moshe) sister Miriam. Stars of David, Pomegranates and books are also common shapes. Hamsa Home Blessings typically have the text of the Home Blessing or individual Hebrew words of blessing linked together. Pomegranates are popular shapes because of their link to fertility and monetary success.
Home Blessings, especially those that are in the form of a picture inside a frame, can be personalized with names or even the decorations around the blessing. Other types of Home Blessings can be personalized as well with these decorations, although this is rather uncommon.