Part I – Shehekheyanu
Stand together in your child's dorm room as soon as everything has been brought into the room. Yes, stand among the suitcases, boxes, and duffel bags! Take a moment of silence to consider this moment.
Parent(s), you are saying goodbye to your child as s/he makes a home for him/herself outside of the familial nest.
New college student/child, you are standing on the precipice of an exciting journey.
Siblings, the family and home-life dynamic will be a little different now. You too are experiencing a life change.
In silence, wrap the yarn around your wrist a few times and then throw the ball of yarn to the next member of your family until everyone present is connected in a web of string.
Look at the faces that comprise family. You will always be connected to each other by the home you have shared and the stories you have in common. You all have great courage that has brought you to this day. The courage of ________ who will now explore and experience life on his/her own. And the courage of ___________, proud parent(s) who dare to step back and watch as your beloved child soars away from the nest.
Together, say the Shehekheyanu:
Barukh Atah Adonay Eloheynu Melekh ha'olam shehekheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.
Praised are You, God, who created the world, who grants us life, who sustains us, and who brings us to this very moment.
(Cut the string so that each person now has their own bracelet to rememebr this moment, and each other.)
Part II – MezuzahThe mezuzah is a small box containing parchment on which are written the words of the Shema (Judaism's most central prayer). It is affixed to the doorpost of a Jewish home in order to fulfill the commandment to "inscribe [the words of God] upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
In your first act of setting up a new home, affix a mezuzah on the doorpost of your dorm room. First, affix the mezuzah and then say:
Barukh Atah Adonay Eloheynu Melekh ha'olam, asher kid-sha-nu b'mitz-vo-tav v'tzi-va-nu lik-bo-a m'zu-zah.
Blessed are You, God, who created the world, who has made us holy through your commandments, and commanded us to affix the mezuzah.
Part III – A Prayer Upon Entering College
To be read by the new college student:
Atah honein l'adamAdam is the first human being created by God. Symbolizes: Creation, humankind. da'at, u'm'lameid le'enosh binah.
Honeinu mei'itkha dei'ah, binah, v'haskeil.
Barukh atah Adonai, honein hada'at.
By Your grace we have the power to gain knowledge and to grow in understanding.
Favor us with knowledge, understanding and wisdom, for You are their Source.
We praise You, O God, gracious giver of knowledge.
I pray for wisdom to hold all truth sacred, whether it comes from 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. and its interpreters of old, or from the scholars of our own age. Help me, Eternal God, to see beyond the surface of things, to understand that their beauty is but a reflection of Your wondrous creative power at work in me and in all the universe. Give me, also, a discerning mind, that I may recognize what is good, and reject what is false and harmful. And grant me a heart of wisdom, that, as Your partner in the work of creation, I may learn to use my knowledge for righteous purpose.
Wherever I go, and whatever I do, let me be a true child of my people IsraelLit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel., faithful to justice and truth, eager for knowledge and insight. And may the study of Torah be sweet as honey on my lips. Amen.
sheet with above blessings
SiddurLit. Order of prayers. The prayer book. Sha'ar Zahav
My Heart's Meditation: An ErevLit. Evening Jewish holidays begin in the evening. Hence, Erev Shabbat is the eve of the Sabbath. ShabbatShabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends. Siddur for Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges
On the Doorposts of Your House (CCAR Publication)