On erev Shabbat children are blessed by their parents or grandparents. The traditional blessing for children invokes powerful Jewish biblical ancestors that were blessed by God. The blessing is intended to bestow the attributes of these powerful ancestors onto the children as they grow throughout the week. Recently, Jewish ritual has begun to acknowledge the diversity of Jewish family, whether it be heterosexual, LGBTQ, adopted/foster children, no children, pets as blessed family members, and those who choose to remain single.
This ritual is for those who seek to bless themselves in the holiness of erev Shabbat.
Timing: Below are some options when this ritual can be added the traditional series of rituals on erev Shabbat.
1. After lighting the Shabbat candles, when one’s eyes are still closed/covered, this blessing can be recited.
2. After blessing children on erev Shabbat.
1. Envision an important/influential figure (biblical character, historical figure, ancestor, etc.)
2. Imagine a positive trait you admire in them (sometimes it’s easier to think of the trait first before the named person)
3. Ask for removal of past "faulty steps" within the past week (whether literally, metaphorically, and/or spiritually). Faulty steps may be: losing your temper with family or friends, not following through with a commitment, or not giving yourself enough self-care for the week; in other words, anything that you intended to do this past week or behaviors which you hold yourself to but this week you weren't able to fulfill as you wanted.
יַעֲבִיר נָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת צְּעָדֵי הָשָׁוְא שֶׁלִּי וְאָז נִיקִּיתִי מִפֶּשַׁע רָב ומִנִּסְתָּרוֹת יְנָקְנִי
*Inspired by Psalms 19:13–14
Ya'avir na Elohim et tz'adey ha'shav sheli v'az nikiti mipeysha rav u'ministarot y'nakni.
May G-d remove my faulty steps and then I will be blameless and clear of grave mistakes, and clear me of my unperceived guilt.
4. Blessing oneself in the holy moment of welcoming Shabbat and going forward into the next week. (This part can be adapted every week depending on what traits you wish to evoke that particular Shabbat/week.)
יְשִׂימֵנִי אֱלֹהִים כְ________ ה_______ בַּשַּׁבָּת וּבַשָּׁבוּעַ הַבָּא
Y'simeyni Elohim k'_______ ha______ ba-shabbat u'va'shavua haba.
May G-d bless me like ______ the ________ this Shabbat and in the week to come.
Examples of influential figures and their traits: (be as creative as you like, this is just a small sampling of examples using the biblical ancestors)
Hannah (חנה) the passionate one (המלהבות)
Deborah (דבורה) the discerning one (הבחינה)
Abraham (אברהם) the believing one (המאמין)
Jacob (יעקב ) the patient one (הסבלני)
Rachel (רחל) the trusting one (הבוטחת)
Sarah (שרה) the one who laughs (הצוחקת)
Esther (אסתר) the courageous one (האמיצה)
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