B’ruchah Haba’ah – ‘Blessed Is She’
Composition and audio © Alexander Massey 12 Dec 2015
This recording and a version of this article were pubished on Ritual Well (USA), June 2016 with the title ‘Blessed Is She‘.
The opening line of this lyric is based on Ps 118:26 (which is in the masculine), and is used as the opening sentence at weddings, as well as at a baby blessing. I have changed this verse into the feminine, to make it suitable for a blessing for a baby girl. This song could also be used for a wedding, either to address the bride in the opening processional, or to address both brides in the case of a wedding of two women. The second line comes from Song of Songs (6:10), and is recommended for a baby girl’s blessing in Cohen, Debra Nussbaum (2001) Celebrating your new Jewish daughter: creating Jewish ways to welcome baby girls into the covenant, Jewish Lights Publishing. It is a beautiful, joyful sentiment, and can also be sung at a bat mitzvah.
I composed this for the birth of the daughter of my friends of mine. The first section came to me on the morning of the baby blessing, two days after the little girl was born; there wasn’t much time to prepare! The tune is deliberately very simple, as I wanted the congregation to be able to pick it up and join in after hearing it just once, which is what happened on the song’s very first outing. The repeated musical motif is intended to feel like a gentle lullaby call. The second section (Mi zot …) was written later that evening. The song can used in its totality, but it also works if just the first section is used.
Transliteration of lyrics:
B’ruchah haba’ah b’sheim Adonai.
Mi zot hanish’kafah k’mo-shachar yafah chal’vanah barah kachamah?
Blessed is she who comes in the name of the Lord!
Who is she who shines through like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, radiant as the sun?