I wrote this blessing for my oldest daughter at her bat mitzvahLit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed.".
I made her tallitA four-cornered garment to which ritual fringes (tzitzit/tzitzi'ot) are affixed. The knots in the fringes represent the name of God and remind us of God's commandments. The tallit is worn during prayer and can also be drawn about oneself or around the bride and groom to symbolize divine protection. and we tied the tzitzitA set of fringes tied and knotted on each of the four corners of a tallit, symbolizing and reminding the user of God's commandments. Some Jews wear tzizit under their clothes at all times, with the fringes visible. together, when I presented it to her to wear on the bimaThe stage or platform on which the person leading prayers stands. I also gave her this blessing.
INTRODUCTION TO BLESSING:
When we finished tying your tzitzit
you took the most important step of becoming a Bat Mitzvah.
It was not the act of tying the fringes;
it was the moment when you realized that it was yours. Truly yours —
not just as a possession, but something beyond that.
You made it yours by the work you put in
and by connecting each knot to your hopes and dreams,
to the things you are grateful for,
and to your own understanding of what it means to be a Jewish adult.
I made this tallit for you last summer with your dad,
but it is you who completed it. Today we will literally hand you the TorahThe Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general., passing on our values to you, but it is up to you what you will do with it.
Just like your tallit, you will make Judaism your own.
The painted corners of your tallit represent the journey our ancestors took to the Promised Land, as well as your own journey;
these are my blessings for you at this stage in your life’s journey.
May you always be able to articulate your hopes for the future as beautifully as you did when you tied the tzitzit on the corners of your tallit.
May you be like the water, knowing when to let go and go with the flow.
May you be guided by the wisdom of the Torah and our ancestors even as you find your own way.
May you climb the highest mountains and know that you have the strength to keep going even when you want to quit.
May you always know that you are never alone on life’s journey.
May you have the courage to be who you are and to stand up for your ideals, even when it is not popular.
May you choose your own path and never let others steer you in the wrong direction.
May you always have the freedom to be exactly who you are — creative and inventive, passionate and caring, and the coolest person I know.
May your love of books lead you to a lifetime of learning.
May you find expression for all your creativity and share your gifts with the world.
May you use your strengths for good, and may you come to know your own power.
May you remember that your actions matter — that what you do in life matters, so that you make a difference in the world for the better.
May all your dreams come true, because you are the type of person to make them come true.
May you always remember that the blessing is in the journey.
May your eyes shine with the light of Torah and may your face be radiant with your inner light that you share with the world.