What does the word “boruch” mean in all the brachos that we say?
The word boruch comes from the word berech which means a knee. Boruch means the One to whom our knees are bent. You Hashem are the only one whom we bend our knees to. Boruch atah, You Hashem – only you Hashem. Only you are boruch, – the one we bend our knees to.
Why do we bend our knees? In hachna’ah. In humility. Because You, Hasem are the one who gives. You’re the nosein. And we can’t give anything back to you in return. “Mah ashiv la’Hashem, kol tagmulo’hee ulai.” What can I give back to you, Hashem, for all the good that You’ve done for me? You can’t give back anything! All you can do is be nich’na. And the Chovos Ha’levavos says that this is called avodas Hashem. What is avodas Hashem? You’re an eved Hashem if you’re nich’na to Him because of all that He does for you and your realization of your inability to pay Him back.
So, Boruch atah Hashem means, “You are the one to whom our knees are bent.” And to nobody else in the world. Of course, we thank those who You tell us to thank. We thank our father and our mother because You told us to thank them. We thank our Rebbe because You told us to thank him. We thank talmidei chachomim because You told us to thank them. Es Hashem Elokim Ti’rah – li’rabos talmidei chachomim.
But whatever we do to thank anybody in the world, it’s really because we are thanking You. Everything is really only from You. Boruch atah Hashem. You’re the only one in the universe who deserves our bending of the knees.