Let Your Heart Take Courage: A Ceremony for Entering a Nursing Home

By Rabbi Cary Kozberg


A Song of Ascents

I turn my eyes to the mountains:
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot give way;
your Guardian will not slumber.
See, the Guardian of Israel
nether slumbers nor sleeps!
The Lord Is your Guardian,
the Lord is your Protection
at your right hand.

By day the sun will not strike you,
nor the moon by night.
Lord will guard you from all harm;
He will guard your life.
The Lord will guard your going and coming
now and forever.

(Psalm 121)


I seek refuge in You, O Lord;
may I never be disappointed.

For You are my hope,
O Lord God,
my trust from my youth.

Do not cast me off In old age;
When my strength fails
do not forsake me!

Even in frail old age
do not forsake me, God,
until I proclaim Your strength
to the next generation.

You who have made me undergo
many troubles and misfortunes
will revive me again,
and raise me up
from the depths of the earth.

You will grant me much greatness,
You will turn and comfort me.

My lips shall be jubilant.
As I sing a hymn to You,
My whole being,
which You have redeemed.

(From Psalm 71)


May Divine Caring always be evident to me. May God's mercy always be present to me. May His strength inspire me to keep my body energized and my mind active, and may He always watch over my spirit, even when it departs this world.


Write them upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates.


May the Divine Presence, symbolized by the mezuzah always be felt In this room by all who enter; may that Presence continue to sustain me, as it has sustained those who came before me, as it will sustain those who will come after me. Amen.

If appropriate, affix the mezuzah to the door and say:

Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav vitzivanu likbo'ah m'zuzah.

B'rukhah At Ya Eloheinu ruach ha-olam asher kidshatnu b'mitzvoteha v'tzivatnu lik'bo'ah m'zuzah.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments, and commanded us to affix the mezuzah.

Staff member or rabbi:

For a woman:

For a man:

Y'varekhekha Adonai v'yishmerekha
May the Lord bless you and protect you.

Ya'er Adonai panav eilekha v'yichunehkha
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Yissa Adonai panav eilekha v'yasem l'kha shalom
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and grant you peace.

Complete Ceremony

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