It seems like there’s a blessing for everything in Judaism. When you eat fruit, you can say one blessing. When you smell a fresh flower, there’s another. And when you see a two-headed snake or a spiky pufferfish, there’s yet another blessing you can recite.
The blessing for seeing exceptionally strange-looking people or animals is found in the “blessings” section of many prayerbooks. It starts out the same way most other Jewish blessings do:
Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam…
Blessed are you, God, ruler of the world…
and then finishes:
…who makes creatures different.
It’s certainly not the sort of thing most of us learned in Hebrew School. But it’s a surprising and pleasant way to remind ourselves that everything has a purpose in this world–even pufferfish.
September 22, 2010