Awakening the Senses

baby bundled in brown knitted fabric

We bring prayers and rituals that reflect the five senses, to awaken Rebecca to the world around her and to encourage her to experience life with her whole being.

1. Hearing:

Let your life be filled with music, to please and inspire you, to connect you with others, and to permeate you with a love of life.

B’rukhah haba’ah tahat kanfey ha’shechinah.
May you be blessed beneath the wings of Shechinah.
Be blessed with love, be blessed with peace.
(Debbie Friedman, z”l)

2. Touch:

Be embraced by the tallit, under which your parents were wed and now lovingly held by your grandparents, as your family and community embrace you.

A Blessing on the Occasion of a Brit Bat

By Rabbi Leila Gal Berner (adaptation)

May the Shechinah spread her wings over you and protect you.
May you know great joy, happiness, and fulfillment in your life.
May you walk with your people Israel in pride, and may you understand that to be a Jew is a source of joy and meaning, and an important responsibility.
May you honor your parents, recognizing that they have brought you into the world in love and in hope, and may you bring them great joy.
May you go from strength to strength, yet always be able to accept your own weaknesses and those of others.
May you judge yourself and others with fairness and compassion, and without harshness.

May you have the confidence and self-esteem to move towards whatever goals you choose for yourself, and may you have the wisdom and courage to change your mind if your original goals are replaced by newer and better ones.

May you allow yourself to dream your dreams and soar with flights of fancy and imagination.

May you always keep a precious part of yourself as “child” even as you move to adulthood.

May your ears be filled with music of every imaginable kind, and may the rhythms be of your own making, allowing yourself to march at your own pace.

May you experience the inevitable moments of sadness and pain in a way that will give these moments meaning and add value to your life.

May you live in a world blessed with peace and harmony, and may your future be as bright and as hopeful as the world’s first rainbow.

And let us all say: Amen.

3. Sight:

Jewish women have traditionally been guardians of the light, kindling the spiritual flames every Shabbat and holiday. Let the mesmerizing light of these candles remind us of our connection with the past and the obligations of the present.

Blessing over the candles (all women together)


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ

Barukh atah adonay, eloheynu melekh ha’olam, borey m’orey haesh.


בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ

B’rukhah at Yah eloheynu ruakh ha’olam boret m’orey haesh.

4. Smell:

The fragrance of the spices arouses our most astute sense, hinting at the sweetness in the world.

Blessing over the spicebox


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים

Barukh atah adonay, eloheynu melekh ha’olam, borey miney v’samim.


 בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים 

 B’rukhah at yah eloheynu ruakh ha’olam boret miney v’samim.

5. Taste:

Take your first sip of wine, Rebecca, and taste the drink that is the holy link between people and God, used to sanctify all Jewish celebrations.

Blessing over the wine


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Barukh atah adonay, eloheynu melekh ha’olam, boreh p’ri hagafen.


     בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

B’rukhah at Yah eloheynu ruakh ha’olam boret p’ri hagafen.

From the Brit Bat of Rebecca Yael Morrow-Spitzer, RRC files

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