Blessings

Judaism recommends that all goods enjoyed by men should be regarded as gifts for which they should extend their thanks to God. In Jewish religious law this took the form of blessings - short prayers of thanksgiving recited in many different situations in life, including before every meal. The commandment to bless food is included in the Torah: “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for good land which he hath given thee.”
On the book page there are two colorful illustrations. The upper one shows various vegetables, the lower one shows the female in front of the fruit trees. In the background you can see the house.

Blessings recited over above-ground vegetables and fruits

Illustrations in a manuscript containing daily blessings and prayers. Moravia, Habsburg Empire, 1726/1727.
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Yellowed sheet of paper. In the frame there is a fine black print in the Hebrew alphabet.

Blessings of food consumed on the Rosh Hashanah holiday

Printed card to be hung in the kitchen. Italy, 1850.
Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv

Blessing of the food

Blessings (hebr. "brakhot") recited over meals are an expression of acknowledgement that the world is God’s creation, and of our gratitude for it. Each type of food requires a slightly different prayer, but the core of these blessings goes: “Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates…" (followed by the name of food one is about to consume).
Metal vessel with a round shape with inscriptions. Handle of the lid in the shape of a lying lamb.

A platter with a cover with Hebrew inscription of the blessing over bread

The Blessing reads: "Barukh atah, adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, hamotzi lekhem min ha’aretz" (Blessed areYou, Adonaiour God, Sovereign of all, who brings forth bread from the earth). Poland, Hennenberg Brothers Plater Factory, Warsaw, 1939.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
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  • A fish-shaped cut-out with an inscription in Hebrew visible on its side.
    "She-hakol nihiya bid’varo" – blessing over meat, fish, eggs, water and drinks
    Cut-outs made by Monika Krajewska to decorate the dining hall at the Lauder-Morasha School in Warsaw, after 2000.
    POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Cut-out in the shape of a basket with vegetables. On the side of the basket there is an inscription in Hebrew.
    "Borei pri ha'adama" - blessing over vegetables
    Cut-outs made by Monika Krajewska to decorate the dining hall at the Lauder-Morasha School in Warsaw, after 2000.
    POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Cut-out showing two loaves of chlea. Next to them are inscriptions in Hebrew.
    "Hamotzi lekhem min haaretz" - blessing over bread
    Cut-outs made by Monika Krajewska to decorate the dining hall at the Lauder-Morasha School in Warsaw, after 2000.
    POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Hand washing

Washing hands (hebr. "netilat yadayim") is performed before consuming meals containing bread or matzo, and precedes blessing the food. Having washed the hands, a religious Jew recites the following prayer: “Blessed areYou, Adonaiour God, Sovereign of all, who has sanctified us with divine commandments, and commanded us concering the washing of hands.”
Jug-shaped vessel with a large gripping ear. Scratches are visible on the outer walls.

Cup for hand-washing

Silver, turn of the 20th c.
National Museum in Lublin
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Cup for hand-washing
Cup for hand-washing

Kiddush

Kiddush (hebr., "sanctification") is a special prayer recited over a glass of wine which is a form of sanctifying Shabbat, a holy day or any celebration such as circumsicion or a wedding. In case a person does not consume alcohol, wine can be replaced by grape juice.
Vessel on a calyx-shaped leg. On the outer wall there is a decoration resembling a wreath of plants.

Kiddush cup

Silver, 1866-1872.
National Museum in Lublin
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Kiddush cup
Kiddush cup

Kosher wine

Since ancient times, Jews have taken special care to keep wine kosher. No wine intended for pagan or Christian worship was allowed—even wine that had been touched by a non-Jew was considered treif. Kosher wine is still produced under rabbinical supervision, and only religious and specially trained Jews are allowed to touch the tools used in its production. A special kind of wine is made for Passover—it must not come into contact with flour or cereal seeds.
In the middle of the page, a rectangle divided into four parts in each of the parts a colorful sitting post holding a cup in his hands.

Drinking four cups of wine during a Passover meal

Illustration in the so-called "Sassoon Haggadah" produced in Spain or southern France, c. 1320.
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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