||Small format booklet on the blessings to be made on various occasions. Nusah Berkhat ha-Nehenin is intended to be used by and is an instructional booklet for students in the Talmud Torah.
The Talmud (Ber. 40b) quotes Rav as saying that every benediction must include the name of God, and R. Johanan as saying that each benediction must also contain the attribute of God's kingship. It is also obvious from this talmudic passage that a benediction could be recited in the vernacular and did not have to be an exact translation of the Hebrew formula. A shepherd, Benjamin, is quoted as having said in Aramaic, "Blessed be God, the master of this bread," and Rav agreed that it was sufficient (Ber. 40b). Particular stress is laid upon the closing formula (Ber. 9:5; Ta'an. 2:3; Tosef., Ber. 7:21–22). While the benediction formula is obligatory in every one of the prescribed prayers, its use is precluded in spontaneous free prayers: "He who recites a blessing which is not necessary is considered to transgress the prohibition 'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain'" (Ex. 20:7; Ber. 33a). Maimonides (Yad, Berakhot 1:4) divides the benedictions into three types: those which are recited before enjoying a pleasure (e.g., food); those which are recited for the performance of a religious duty (e.g., hearing the shofar); and those which are forms of liturgical thanksgiving and praise (e.g., Grace after Meals). Abudarham distinguished four classes or types of benedictions: those recited in the daily prayers; those preceding the performance of a religious duty; blessings offered for enjoyments; and those of thanksgiving or praise (Abudarham ha-Shalem, Berakhot). Many benedictions, though obligatory and therefore couched in the characteristic berakhah formula, are not recited in congregational worship but by the individual in private prayer. Prominent among them are three groups: benedictions before and after the partaking of food and drink; benedictions to be recited before the performance of most mitzvot; and benedictions of praise for various occasions (the morning benedictions which express man's gratitude for awakening in possession of all his faculties were originally of this type). Since all three types of benedictions are essentially of a private character, no minyan is required for their recital. (The Grace after Meals is, however, preceded by a special introduction when said in company.)