Anyone who was raised in a Jewish home knows the Hamotzi, the prayer over bread. Traditionally it is also used as a prayer over the meal, something like saying grace.
The text is simple. It opens with the typical preamble of many Hebrew prayers, acknowledging God’s sovereignty: Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe. Then it notes God as the source of our nourishment: hamotzi lekhem min ha'aretz, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Since bread itself does not directly come from the earth (although obviously it’s main ingredient does), there are different rabbinic schools of thought about what is really meant by the last phrase of the prayer. Many believe it references the manna the children of Israel ate in the wilderness, even though the Bible says it came from Heaven. The origin of the prayer can be traced back to ancient biblical times, and is quite possibly based on Psalm 104:14 which uses an almost identical phrase.
More observant Jewish families may also use a much longer prayer after meals called Birkat Hamazon, which is often called Bentsching. But the Hamotzi is more commonly used, especially at a Shabbat dinner, especially if there is challah, the delicious braided loaf. It is also often part of the synagogue service, in tandem, as it may also be in the home, with the Kiddush, the prayer over wine.
Definitely, both the Hamotzi and Kiddush are part of any meal during the Feasts of the Lord, which of course includes Passover. Focusing on the Hamotzi, we see at His last Passover Seder, Jesus gave it deeper meaning, using it to establish Communion.
Luke 22:19 says, “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” Notice He gave thanks, we believe praying the Hamotzi over the bread. The Hebrew word for bread, as used in the prayer, is lekhem. The kh is pronounced with a guttural sound like the German ach. It is also notable as part of the name of Messiah’s birthplace. Bethlehem is the English for Beit Lekhem, House of Bread.
So Yeshua was born in the House of Bread, and said of Himself, (John 6:48) “I am the bread of life.” Then, at His last Seder, commonly called the Last Supper, He took the unleavened bread of the ceremony, identifying it as a symbol of His body. Please note, since leaven has a biblical representation of sin, Jesus was clearly using the unleavened bread to say He was sinless.
Now here’s the best part. When He gave thanks for the unleavened bread, we believe using the age-old Hamotzi prayer, He used the words, God . . . Who brings forth bread from the earth. Messiah had already specifically made the connection between bread and His body. Therefore, bring forth bread from the earth - RESURRECTION!
The Hamotzi, another way God is keeping the reality of Jesus in front of His Jewish people.