First Blessing 10: Blessings: “You”
When we use the word “Ata”, we are talking directly to God. The Ba’al Shem Tov explains that in every blessing we begin by addressing God in the second person. Baruch Ata – “Blessed are You.” And then we end the phrase in the third person. Asher Kidishanu b’mitzvotav – “The One Whom has commanded us.” This is because, closeness cannot be maintained consistently in our relationship with God. We draw close, but then we must withdraw. What is the Hebrew word for drawing something close to you? To draw something from a well? To draw something from the source? What do you call the source? – B’reicha. This, The Ba’al Shem Tov says, is what the word baruch means. Baruch means that as I am losing the sense of addressing God in the second person, and I feel that this distance is being created, I reach back so that I can hold on to the source of the well of water.