Hymn – Calabasas, California


Hamotzee l’chem meen ha’aretz

We give thanks to God for bread

Our voices join in happy chorus

As our prayers are humbly said

Barooch atah adonai eloheynu melech ha’olam

Hamotzee l’chem meen ha’aretz


Jay Rockman is a freshman at USC and a dedicated follower of Jewish religion and tradition. His mother is Israeli, and as a child he learned to speak Hebrew. From grades 6-12 he attend Milken Community School, a prestigious private school in Calabasas, CA that integrates Jewish education into its curriculum. According to Jay, his family would sing the “Hamotzee” every Friday  night to celebrate Shabbat (the Sabbath). The song, which integrates the English translation with the traditional prayer, is recited as father uncovers the holy bread (a special type of bread known as “chalah”). The “Hamotzee” is part of a specific series of prayers sung to welcome the Sabbath, which also includes lighting the candles and drinking the wine.

This prayer is designed as a proclamation to God of thankfulness and joy. According to Jewish religion, simply having bread on the table is a blessing, considering all of the adversity that the ancient Hebrews encountered thousands of years ago. Thus, the “Hamotzee” ensures that nobody takes the simple aspects of life for granted and stresses the importance of “humbly” going about one’s life. Shabbat is also intended to bring the entire family together in prayer (“happy chorus”) and signal the upcoming rest period, since devout Jews try to refrain from using electricity and motor vehicles for the night and the following day.