Prayer Upon the Beginning of a Child's Torah Learning

By Rabbi Rami Shapiro
mother walking with young child holding hands

V'she-nan-tam l'va-ne-kha

Teach them diligently to your children.

What is it we shall teach so diligently?
Let us teach our children Torah
and how to create Torah.
Let us teach our children wisdom
and how to become wise.
Let us teach our children the past
and how to fashion the future.

Let us teach them to take pride in their heritage,
and to see in that heritage
the foundations of a good life,
a moral life,
a life of caring, compassion and peace;
a life devoted to the wellbeing of self and stranger,
a life devoted to the healing of the world.

May our children enter
into the study of wisdom
with a sense of joy.
And may we who teach them
find joy in our teaching.

Let us take care
that we teach what we believe,
and that what we believe is what we do,
and that what we do is who we are,
that the message we impart be one of integrity.

May our children come to see
in their heritage
a way of life that
challenges as well as comforts,
a way of life
that is worthy of their devotion and their love.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה

Barukh ata adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
she-heh-kheh-yanu, v'kee-y'-manu, v'he-ge-anu
laz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed is the Source of Life, the Fountain of Being
whose power enlivens us, sustains us,
and enables us to reach this moment of joy.

Prayer

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