As I was waiting in line for the COVID-19 vaccine I was quite nervous but also filled with gratitude for human ingenuity and the collective will to survive and protect each other. I was reflecting on the Hebrew word for vaccine – חִיסוּן – which shares a root with the word “יֶחֱסָיוּן“ – meaning protection or refuge – from one of my favorite phrases of Psalm 36, from verse 8:
וּבנֵי אָדָם בְּצֵל כְּנפֶיךָ יֶחֱסָיוּן
In the shadow of your wings humankind finds protection (or shelter or refuge – whichever word resonates most for you)
As the needle entered my skin – with all the hope and uncertainty it represents – this blessing came to me:
עִם חִיסוּן זֶה בְּצֵל כְּנפֶיךָ יֶחֱסָיוּן
Im hisun zeh b’tzel kenafekha yehesayun
With this vaccine, may we be protected in the shadow of Your wings.
When I go to getA writ of divorce. Traditionally, only a man can grant his wife a get. Liberal Jews have amended this tradition, making divorce more egalitarian. my second dose, I’m going to wear my 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 say this blessing again, because receiving this vaccine feels like a gift from the universe, an act of faith, and a sacred obligation – a 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." – all at once.