Activity: Blessing the Children – UPS, MS, HS, A

Download the activity here:  Word word-doc-icon  PDF  pdf-icon

Activity: Blessing the Children

This custom is a nice way of bringing gratitude and spirituality into your family on Shabbat and at other special occasions. There are different customs as to when the blessing is recited. Some families bless their children immediately before or after Kiddush. Others prefer to bless just after lighting the Shabbat candles. Usually the person giving the blessing places one or both hands on the child’s head. Some parents bless each child in succession, others bless all of the girls together, and all of the boys together, while other families have developed their own rituals around this practice.

 In Pairs, take it in turns to give the blessing one to another – do it with Kavanah (focused intentionality). What did it feel like to give the blessing? What did it feel like to receive the blessing? (Physically, how did you experience it? How did the relationship with the other person feel during this experience?)

The words of the blessing are taken from the priestly blessing (Bamidbar 6:24-26) and traditionally the introduction is constructed differently according to the gender of the person being blessed. Some people like to ‘mix this up’ and include both male and female figures in blessing their child.

For males:
יְשִׂימְךָ אֱלהיִם כְּאֶפְרַיְם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה
May you be like Ephraim and Menashe.

For females:

יְשִׂימֵךְ אֱלהיִם כְּשָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה
May you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.

For both genders, the rest of the blessing is:

יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו  אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
יִשָּׂא יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלום

May God bless you and guard you.
May God show you favor and be gracious to you.
May God show you kindness and grant you peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.