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Jewish Cemetery

The Jewish Cemetery Blessing

One who has not seen Jewish graves for thirty days recites the following blessing upon entering a cemetery (some just contemplate the meaning of the words in parentheses, but do not pronounce them):


ברוך ‏(‏אתה יְיָ אלוהינו
מלך העולם‏)‏
אשר יצר אתכם בדין
וזן אתכם בדין וכלכל אתכם בדין
יש מוסיפים׃ ‏[‏וְהֶחֱיָה אתכם בדין‏]‏
והמית אתכם בדין


ויודע מספר כולכם בדין
והוא עתיד
להחיותכם ולקים אתכם בדין׃

‏ ‏נוסח אחר׃
‏[‏ויודע מספר כולכם
והוא עתיד
להחיותכם ולהקימכם
בדין לחיי העולם הבא׃‏]‏

‏ ‏נוסח אחר׃
‏[‏ואסף אתכם בדין
ויודע מספר כולכם
ועתיד להחיותכם
בדין לחיי העולם הבא׃‏]‏


ברוך ‏(‏אתה יְיָ‏)‏
מחיה המתים׃

Blessed (are You, the Lord our God,
King of the universe,)
Who fashioned you in justice,
nourished and sustained you in justice
some add: [and made you alive in justice]
and caused you to die in justice.


Who knows your total count in justice,
and Who in the future
will revive and keep you alive in justice.

alternatively:
[Who knows your total count
and Who in the future
will revive you and will raise you up
in justice to life in the future world.]

alternatively:
[Who brought you together in justice
and Who knows your total count
and in the future will revive you
in justice to life in the future world.]


Blessed (are You, the Lord,)
Who resurrects the dead.


Some continue and say the second paragraph of the Amidah Prayer / תפילת העמידה
(also known as the Shemoneh Esrey / תפילת שמונה עשרה), without the closing phrase,
while some say it before the above blessing:

אַתָּה גִּיבּוֹר לְעוֹלָם אֲדנָי
מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים
אַתָּה רַב לְהוֹשִיעַ

You are eternally mighty, my Lord,
You resurrect the dead,
You are great in Your ability to save

[in the winter add]

מַשִּׁיב הָרוּח וּמוֹרִיד הַגָּשֶם

You cause wind to blow and rain to fall

[in the summer some add]

מוֹרִיד הַטָּל

You cause the dew to descend

[continue]

מְכַלְכֵּל חַיִּים בְּחֶסֶד
מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים בְּרַחֲמִים רַבִּים
סוֹמֵךְ נוֹפְלִים וְרוֹפֵא חוֹלִים
וּמַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים וּמְקַיֵּם
אֱמוּנָתוֹ לִישֵׁנֵי עָפָר׃
מִי כָּמוֹךָ בַּעַל גְּבוּרוֹת
וּמִי דּוֹמֶה לָּךְ
מֶלֶךְ מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה
וּמַצְמִיחַ יש מוסיפים׃ ‏[‏לָנוּ‏]‏ יְשׁוּעָה
וְנֶאֱמָן אַתָּה לְהַחֲיוֹת מֵתִים׃

He who nourishes the living with kindness,
resurrects the dead with great mercy,
supports the fallen and heals the sick,
frees the imprisoned and maintains
His faith to those who sleep in the dust.
Who is like You, Master of Might?
and Who can be compared to You?
King, Who brings death, and restores life
and sprouts some add: [our] salvation.
You are faithful to resurrect the dead.


Some, however, say the following selection
from Isaiah 26:19 and Psalms 78:38 instead:

יִחְיוּ מֵתֶיךָ
נְבֵלָתִי יְקוּמוּן
הָקִיצוּ וְרַנְּנוּ שׁכְנֵי עָפָר
כִּי טַל אוֹרת טַלֶּךָ
וָאָרֶץ רְפָאִים תַּפִּיל׃

Your dead will live [again];
my corpses will arise.
Awake and sing, dwellers of dust!
For the dew of light [is] Your dew,
And the earth will give forth the dead.

וְהוּא רַחוּם
יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלא יַשְׁחִית‏,‏
וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ‏,‏
וְלא יָעִיר כָּל חֲמָתוֹ׃

And He is merciful,
atones for sin and does not destroy,
frequently turns away His anger
and does not arouse all His wrath.

Unlike other blessings, this blessing may be recited within Arba Amot / ארבע אמות — four cubits of a grave. This blessing, however, is not recited upon seeing a lone Jewish grave. Likewise, one does not recite the blessing upon seeing a Jewish cemetery at a distance or through a window. Nevertheless, since that person did, in fact, see the cemetery, he or she should not recite the blessing again when coming to a Jewish cemetery within the next thirty days.