Learning to Drive

teenager in driver seat and adult in passenger seat reaching for steering wheel

Beginning to Drive: (From the teacher/parent to student/child)
Driving is a huge responsibility as well as a gateway to a thrilling new stage of independence. It gives you the ability to go places alone quickly, and to take others with you. It is a sign that your parents and the government trust you with a huge machine that can be used for helping others or can be misused and end up injuring you or others. More people die in car accidents than any other way. The awesome power of an automobile should never be taken for granted.

Meditation for new driver:
May I always be worthy of the trust given to me. May I never forget, even for a moment, the power of this machine, both its dangers and its promise of freedom. Let me always keep in mind the awareness of other drivers, the patience to ignore their mistakes, the judgment to make good decisions quickly, and the care for the environment that will keep me from using this privilege unnecessarily. Let this knowledge make me the best driver I can possibly be.

As you take a seat and hold the steering wheel for the first time, say a shehekheyanu.)

ברוך אתה יי אלהנו מלך העולם שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha’olam shehekheyanu vekiyemanu vehigi’anu lazeman hazeh.

Blessed are you, ETERNAL ONE, our God, the sovereign of all worlds,
who gave us life, and kept us strong, and brought us to this time.

Blessing For the Teacher:
May God ride beside me and bring out the best in me, so that I may join hands with the Divine to bring out the best in my child. Bless me with patience, clarity, and the ability to be a model for my child every time I get behind the wheel of a car. With my help, may ____  grow to be a thoughtful, mature and safe driver.

Adonai yishmor tzeitecha u’voecha meatah ve’ad olam.

Adonai will guard your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and forevermore.

Meditation for the new driver: (can become part of the ritual every time s/he sits behind the wheel)
Check your mirrors
Adjust your seat
Take a moment to think about what it means to drive a car

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