August 05, 2005

Blessing My Children

One of the things that we have worked hard upon is establishing ritual and meaning for our children. What I mean by this is we have striven to teach our children about the holidays we celebrate and why they are important.

We have also made a point of teaching them about the value that they have as people and instructing them so that they have understand their place in the world. One of the things that we do without fail is bless them.

In English the words are as follows:

For a son:

May G-d make you like Efraim and Menashe.

For a daughter:

May G-d make you like Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah.

For both:
May G-d bless you and protect you. May G-d cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May G-d raise His face to you and establish peace for you.

I find this moment to be exceptionally meaningful and it is something that I look forward to all week. My children are the finest thing I have ever done in my life and I want them to feel special and to know how special they are to me. I hope that this is something that they learn to treasure as much as I do.

And I suppose that you can call it selfish, but whenever it is that I die I hope that this is something that they miss but at the same time I want for them to be able to call upon this moment whenever times are hard.

At 7, 13, 40 or 105 when they feel stressed I want them to be able to go to this moment and to feel the strength, comfort and safety of a parent's love and to be able to draw strength from it.

9 comments:

dorothy rothschild said...

Those are some lucky kids, Jack.

Jack's Shack said...

If you are going to be a father you have to do it right. Thanjks. ;)

Neil said...

You sound like a great Dad. Will you adopt me?

Jack's Shack said...

Neil,

I'd be happy to adopt you. We can begin by you washing the car and taking out the trash.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

This is a very nice post. Years ago I decided to sing my children a blessing before they went to sleep. I know a tune for one of the blessings you mention (the Lord bless you and keep you).

My motives were much the same as yours, too. My children heard this blessing every night for years. They are going to remember it for the rest of their lives. And with it, they'll remember that their Dad loves them — and loves God.
Q

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Very beautiful. Reminds me a little of the custom of adding a Shabbos candle when a child is born to remind them that their birth added light to this world. One of my friends won't let anyone watch when he blesses his children as it is so personal to him. My father, he should live and be well, has always been very fond of this moment. Not being a father myself, it's a little hard to understand, your post helped me get it a little better. Thanks.

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Q,

You express yourself very well.

Rav Fleischmann,

As always I appreciate your comments.

Elisheva said...

Awesome Jack, truly.

Jack's Shack said...

Hi E.C.,

Just part of what you do as a parent.