Exploring "Asher Yatsar" Blessing: Our Body's Wisdom
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Exploring "Asher Yatsar" Blessing: Our Body's Wisdom

Lesson Summary:

Students will explore the berakhah "Asher Yatsar."  Students will learn the Hebrew words "adam" and "adamah" as well as participate in a classroom activity using modeling clay, a discussion to help students reflect on their amazing body, and share appreciation and gratitude for their body.


  • The students will appreciate the relevance of a new berakhah to their own lives. 
  • The students will appreciate how words are taken seriously within Jewish thought.


  • The students will learn a piece of the creation story in Bereshit.
  • The students will learn two Hebrew terms that share a shoresh (root) and associate them with one another.
  • The students will learn the words and meaning of a new berakhah.
  • The students will participate actively in the classroom activity and discussion.

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


Terracotta Modeling Clay


Before (Introduction/Set Induction):
Students meet in a circle with teacher, sitting on the floor, to facilitate discussion.
Questions might include:

  • Did you know that the Torah teaches that God created the first human being (in hebrew)– ha-adam – human beings from ha-adamah – the red earth – like lumps of clay. [Teacher holds up lump of terracotta clay]
  • Can everyone show me what a lump of clay looks like? [students are directed to get on floor and pretend to be lumps of clay].
  • Exactly, but how is adamah – a clump of earth or clay – different from adam – a human being? [entertain answers]
Address students:
Those were good answers, but I think we need to explore this question more deeply.

During :
[Each student given some clay at their seat.]
Address students:
Please take the adamah – the red clay from the earth in front of you and make adam – a person – out of it.
[students make people sculptures]
Great, now, can you turn your sculpture into a living person?
[If anyone says yes, ask them how]
Why not? What is different about your sculpture person and a real live person?
[entertain answers]
What does your body do that this sculpture of a body cannot do?
[entertain answers]
[Teacher responds with wonder and admiration to each answers. For example, “That’s right, your body can do that! Isn’t that amazing?”]
Address students:
These are amazing things our bodies can do. And truly they are things that we need a spark of God to make possible because there is no way for us to turn a lump of red earth – ha-adamah into a person – ha-adam.
There is a special blessing we say to help us remember this miracle, the miracle of how our bodies work. I’ll say the whole blessing in Hebrew and English.

Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam b’hokhmah.

Blessed are You Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, who created our bodies so wisely.
The first part you already know, Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, ruler of the universe.
Let’s say that together now.
The second part is the part that specifically is about God creating our bodies so wisely.
Discussion Questions Might Include:
What does wise mean?
How are our bodies smart? What do they know how to do? [entertain answers]
How do they know to do those things? [entertain answers]

Address Students:
Our bodies know how to do many things – many things that we never had to teach them to do. Our bodies know how to breathe and process food and cough and sneeze and go to the bathroom without our having to teach them to do that. They are a whole lot more complicated than our clay figures. I think the reason they know how to do so much automatically is because we each have a divine spark – a spark of God – inside us that transformed our bodies from lumps of clay into human beings.
Here are the words to the blessing again.

Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam b’hokhmah.
Blessed are You Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, who created our bodies so wisely.

Now repeat it after me.

After (Conclusion/Summarizing Activity):
Address students:
We’re going to recite the blessing a few times now and each time we do we will go around the circle and you will each take a turn saying something amazing that our bodies know how to do that we want to thank God for.

Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam b’hokhmah.
Blessed are You Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, who created our bodies so wisely.

[I thank God that my body can ________.]

 Every day our bodies are busy doing thousands of different things that we barely even notice. When we have to pay attention, our body gives us signals – reminding us we have to go the bathroom or that we are hungry or tired or hot or cold. It is amazing all the things our bodies can do. God really did yatzar et ha-adam b’hokhmah – create our bodies so wisely.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore


Send clay people home to parents with note explaining lesson and providing laminated words of berakhah and inviting parents to recite it each morning with their children.

Lesson Contributors

Rabbi Erin Hirsh