Weaning Ritual

woman helping toddler drink from cup


Va’yigdal ha’yeled va’yigamal va’ya’as Avraham mishteh gadol b’yom higamel et Yitzhak

“And the child grew up, and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned” (Gen. 21:8).

Rabbi/leader says a few words about this moment of transition.

Parent(s): Give the child a small cup of grape juice to hold, symbolizing the beginning of the child’s ability to independently nourish her/himself. Then (help the child) say:

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheynu melekh ha’olam borei p’ri ha-gafen.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

To mark this moment of beginning add:

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheynu melekh ha’olam shehekheyanu v’kimanu v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sustained us and preserved us and brought us to this occasion.

Child drinks juice.

Parent(s): As I/we watch this child grow we will continue to provide sustenance to this child and provide for his/her physical needs. I/we will also help this child learn to nourish him/herself, to understand the ethical and ritual principles of eating, and to make healthy choices. May I/we provide spiritual sustenance by setting an example of goodness and loving-kindness, by imparting the wisdom of Torah and sharing the traditions of our people.

Blessing of child by parent(s):

For boys: Yesimkha Elohim k’Efraim v’k’Menashe /  May you be like Ephraim and Menashe.

For girls: Yesimekh Elohim k’Sarah, Rivka, Rachel v’Leah / May you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.

For both boys and girls, continue with:

Yevarekhekha Adonai v’yishmerekha / May God bless you and guard you.
Ya-er Adonai panav eleikha vikhuneka / May God show you favor and be gracious to you.
Yisa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem lekha shalom / May God show you kindness and grant you peace.

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