Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Beracha Levatala

Literally: A benediction said in vain
Idiomatically: A wasted effort

The halachic (pertaining to Jewish Law) injunction is based on not saying God’s name in vain. The Talmud uses a more or less similar phrase, “bracha she’eino tzricha” - a blessing that wasn’t necessary (Brachot 33a). Although there are distinctions between the two, the basic idea is the same. Today while the phrase is still used in its halachic sense it has also come to mean any wasted effort. “Avodat havaadah shelanu haita bracha levatala” - The work of our committee was a wasted effort. Amen.

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