Shabbat Blessing for Children
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Shabbat Blessing for Children
No matter what temper tantrum or adolescent rebellion marked the week that is past, we take a moment to place our hands on our children’s heads and to offer them words of pure love.
The blessing for boys derives from Jacob’s blessing to his grandsons, Ephraim and Menashe, who are the first pair of siblings in the Bible who love each other rather than fight each other. The blessing for girls invokes the memory of our four matriarchs — Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah. The second part of the blessing — the Priestly Blessing — is the same for boys and girls and it comes from the Book of Numbers.
Place your hands on the head of the person you are blessing.
Offer your blessing either aloud or silently. In addition to the traditional words, you may also wish to tell your child something that made you proud of them from the past week.
Seal it with a kiss.
יְשִֹימֵךְ אֱלֹהִים כְּשָֹרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה
Yesimeikh Elohim k’Sarah Rivka Rakhel v’Leah.
May God bless you like Sara, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah.
יְשִֹימְךָ אֱלֹהִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶה
Yesimkha Elohim k’Efrayim vekhi’Menasheh.
May God bless you like Ephraim and Menasheh.
For all children, continue with:
יְבָרֶכְךָ יי וְיִשְמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר יי פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶךָ
יִשָא יי פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵֹם לְךָ שָלוֹם
Y’varekhekha Adonai v’yishmerekha
Ya-er Adonai panav elekha vihuneka
Yisa Adonai panav elekha, v’ yasem l’kha shalom.
May Adonai bless you and watch over you.
May Adonai’s light shine on you and be gracious to you.
May Adonai smile on you and grant you peace.
The World of Beriah (Creation) - Fruits that are entirely edible
[Refill the glass so that there is now half red and half white wine. Drink half or more.]
We drink our third cup of wine. We now have half a cup of red wine and half a cup of white - even though the trees will be full and green and their flowers will blossom; so much more is to come.
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V’al kulam, Elo’ah s’lichot, s’lach lanu, m’chal lanu, kaper-lanu.
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[Pour a nearly full glass of red wine again and add just a few drops of white. Drink all.]
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Pick up a slice of apple, dip it in honey, and say:
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We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the...
We wash our hands in the same way that the ancient priests would purify themselves before engaging in the Temple service. Since we no longer have a Temple, today our tables are our altars.
Wash your hands with water, pouring three times onto each hand, and recite the blessing.
Maintain silence until everyone has finished washing, and are ready to break bread together. In place of speech, however, one is...