This blessing is traditionally used every Friday evening by parents when blessing their children.
May God make you like The first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah., The second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka., Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem. and The third of the Jewish matriarchs, Lead is the eldest of Lavan's daughters and one of the wives of Jacob. She is the daughter whom Lavan tricks Jacob into marrying instead of his younger daughter Rachel, whom Jacob has requested to marry. Leah is mother to six of the the twelve tribes and to one daughter, Dinah..
May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe.
May the Holy One bless you and keep you.
May the Holy One shine light upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Holy One turn towards you and give you peace.
For a Girl:
Y‘simaich Elohim k’sarah, The second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka., rakhel v’leah.
Yivareikhayich Adonay v’yishmarayikh.
Ya’er Adonay panav elayikh v’yihunayikh.
Yisah Adonay panav alayikh vayasem lakh shalom.
For a Boy:
יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
Y’A happy occasion. Usually describes a celebration for a life cycle event (birth, wedding, etc.). Elohim k’ephraim u’menashe.
Yivarekhekha Adonay v’yishmarekha.
Ya’er Adonay panav elekha v’yihunekha.
Yisa Adonay panav elekha vayasem lekha shalom.
Feminine God language:
T’varekh otakh Adonay v’tishm’rekh
Taer Adonay paneyha elayikh v’tikhunekh
Tisa Adonay paneha elayikh v’tasem lakh shalom.
Marcia Falk, a contemporary feminist liturgist, offers her own version of this blessing. Instead of wishing that the child be like someone else, this blessing asks that the child be as s/he is.
To a girl:
___________, Hayi asher tih’yi – vahayi b’rukhah ba’asher tih’yi.
To a boy:
__________, Heyeh asher tihyeh veheyeyh barukh ba’asher tihyeh.
(child’s name), Be who you are — and may you be blessed in all that you are.
Excerpted from The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festivals, Harper 1996, © 1996 Marcia Lee Falk. Used by permission of the author. www.marciafalk.com
As part of Ritualwell’s partnership with BimBam (formerly G-dcast), we present a series of videos that share personal stories about Jewish lifecycle events.
Click here to view the video by BimBam which instructs how to say the Jewish blessing over children!
BimBam (formerly G-dcast) is a new media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults.To learn more about BimBam, visit http://www.bimbam.com/
The Lifecycles Project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of their Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.
Ritualwell, BimBam, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities bring you this user-friendly PDF to inspire ritual in your home. Each one-page PDF explains “what” each blessing is used for, “when” to use it, and ideas to inspire creativity in each ritual! Print the PDF, post it on your fridge, share it with your family and friends, and most importantly find ways to bring holiness into your home and everyday life!