Background for the Sheva Brakhot Project
The Sheva Brakhot Project is a ritual that we created to honor our greatest role models during our wedding weekend. Together, we identified seven inspirational people in our lives (individuals, couples, and even one group of friends) and asked them to offer us a blessing.
We asked that their blessing be in two parts: a written piece (a poem, a letter, a quote, an article, song lyrics, a Jewish teaching, or any other text) and an artifact (a photo, a peice of art, memorabilia, a book, or any other meaningful object).
We gathered with our seven role models 45 minutes before our rehearsal dinner and asked them to offer their blessing. It was one of the most special moments of our wedding weekend. We then displayed the seven blessings (written pieces and artifacts) on a table at the rehearsal dinner. At either end of the table, we placed a written description of the project; next to each person/group's blessing, we placed a written paragraph about the influence they've had on our lives.
Below is some of the language we used in creating this project. Feel free to borrow, use, adapt, change, or add. Also, we'd love to hear how other people use this ritual! Feel free to contact us at danielhreiser[at]gmail[dot]com with your own ideas, successes, adaptations, or questions!
Sample of The Sheva Brakhot Project
We’ve Been Blessed:
The Sheva Brakhot (Hebrew for “Seven Blessings”) are the traditional Jewish prayers offered to the bride and groom on their wedding day. We are extraordinarily grateful to have people in our lives who have inspired us to become more deeply ourselves, encouraged us to take life-transforming risks, and guided us along the path to becoming the people we are today. You are those people, and you have been a blessing.
For us, our wedding is not only a moment of transition, but of transformation. As one book of our life closes and we begin to write the story of the rest of our lives, we ask you, who have been our greatest inspiration, to bless us.
We would be honored if you would offer us a blessing in two parts. The first part should be a written blessing. This can be in any form you like: a letter, a poem, a quote, song lyrics, a traditional prayer, a prayer of your own creating, a melding of all of the above, or anything that feels right for you. The second part of the blessing should be an artifact. This can also take any shape you like: a photo, a piece of art, memorabilia, a book, or any particularly meaningful object.
Your blessing, along with the six others, will be featured on a display table at our rehearsal dinner. Please bring your blessing with you to the rehearsal dinner. We ask that the written part of the blessing be in a frame of your choosing. Daniel’s parents, who are hosting the event, will recognize each of you over the course of the evening.
The rehearsal dinner will begin at 6:30 pm. We’d be honored to spend half-an-hour together before the event begins to receive your blessing and express our deepest gratitude, not only for this extraordinary gesture, but for the many years of inspiration, guidance, and love. We’ll send you an Evite Invitation to this mini-ceremony in the weeks preceding the wedding.
Thank you for playing such a meaningful role in our wedding weekend and in our lives.