Traditional Parental Blessing Over Children

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

May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
OR
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:

 

  יְשִׂמֵךְ אֱלֹהִים כְּשָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה
  יְבָרֵךְ אֲדֹנָי וִישַׁמְּרֵך
יָאֵר אֲדֹנָי פָּנָיו אֵלָיִךְ וִיחֻנַיִךְ
  יִשָּׂא אֲדֹנָי פָּנָיו אֵלָיִךְ וַיָּשֶׂם לָךְ שָׁלוֹם
 

Y'simaich Elohim k'sarah, rivka, rakhel v'leah.
Yivareikhayich Adonay v'yishmarayikh.
Ya'er Adonay panav elayikh v'yihunayikh.
Yisah Adonay panav alayikh vayasem lakh shalom.

For a Boy:

 

  יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶׁה
יְבָרֵךָ אֲדֹנָי וִישַׁמֶּרְךָ
יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו  אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
 יִשָּׂא אֲדֹנָי פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וַיָּשֶׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם
 

Y'simkha Elohim k'ephraim u'menashe.
Yivarekhekha Adonay v'yishmarekha.
Ya'er Adonay panav elekha v'yihunekha.
Yisa Adonay panav elekha vayasem lekha shalom.

Feminine God language:

  תְּבָרֵךְ אוֹתֵךְְ אֲדֹנָי וְתִשְׁמְרֶךְ
תָּאֵר אֲדֹנָי פָּנֵיהָ אֵלָיִךְ וְתִחוּנֶךְ
  תִּשָּׂא אֲדֹנָי פָּנֶיהָ אֵלָיִךְ וְתָשֵׂם לָךְ שָׁלוֹם

T'varekh otakh Adonay v'tishm'rekh
Taer Adonay paneyha elayikh v'tikhunekh
Tisa Adonay 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:

 הֲיִי אֲשֶׁר תִּהְיִי ________
    וַהֲיִי בְּרוּכָה
  בַּאֲשֶׁר תִּהְיִי

___________, Hayi asher tih'yi vahayi b'rukhah ba'asher tih'yi.

To a boy:

     הֱיֵה אֲשֶׁר תִּהְיֶה _________
  וֶהֱיֵה בָּרוּךְ
בַּאֲשֶׁר תִּהְיֶה

__________, 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. www.marciafalk.com


As part of Ritualwell's partnership with BimBam (formerly G-dcast), we present a series of videos that share personal stories about Jewish lifecycle events.

Click here to view the video by BimBam which instructs how to say the Jewish blessing over children!

BimBam (formerly G-dcast) is a new media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults.To learn more about BimBam, visit http://www.bimbam.com/

The Lifecycles Project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of their Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.

Ritualwell, BimBam, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities bring you this user-friendly PDF to inspire ritual in your home. Each one-page PDF explains “what” each blessing is used for, “when” to use it, and ideas to inspire creativity in each ritual! Print the PDF, post it on your fridge, share it with your family and friends, and most importantly find ways to bring holiness into your home and everyday life!

 

Prayer

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