Traditional Parental Blessing

This blessing is traditionally used every Friday evening by parents when blessing their children.

May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
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, rivka, rachel v'leah.
Yivareichayich Adonai v'yishmarayich.
Ya'er Adonai panav elayich v'yihunayich.
Yisah Adonai panav alayich vayasem lach shalom.

For a Boy:

Y'simcha Elohim k'ephraim u'menashe.
Yivarechecha Adonai v'yishmarecha.
Ya'er Adonai panav elecha v'yihunecha.
Yisa Adonai panav elecha vayasem lecha shalom.

Feminine God language:

T'varekh otakh Adonai v'tishm'rekh
Taer Adonai paneyha elayikh v'tichunekh
Tisa Adonai 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.