Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wisdom Wednesdays - The Children's Blessing

Blessings are a very important part of Judaism.  Each week during our Shabbat service, several blessings are spoken, and I'll share these over the coming weeks. 

In the photo above, the children are receiving their blessingThis is one of my favorite parts of the service.  The children stand under tallit, and the congregation raise their right hands to make the Hebrew letter "SHIN" and bless them. (Click on the link to see how to make the sign of the shin.)

For the boys:

(spoken in Hebrew) Ye'simcha Elohim ke-Ephraim ve hee-Menashe

(and then in English) May God make you as Ephraim and Menassah

For the girls:
(spoken in Hebrew)Ye'simech Elohim ke-Sarah, Rivka, Rachel ve-Leah. 

(spoken in English) May G-d make you as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah

 The blessing for the boys is based on this Scripture:

On that day Jacob blessed them, he said, "In time to come, the people of Israel will use you as a blessing. They will say, 'May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe'." (Genesis 48:20)

Ephraim and Menashe were Jacob's grandsons, the two sons of Joseph.  He blessed them even before he blessed his own sons.  I read a commentary that said he did this because they didn't fight with each other like his sons.  He was expressing a desire that they be role models for future generations because of their love for one another.

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah are called "mothers of Israel" and are highly regarded in Judaism as role models because of their strong faith and honor of G-d during great difficulties.  They endured marriage problems, infertility, difficult children, and problems with other women to name a few.  But, these women put their G-d and families first, as should we.  

These blessings can be done at home, during your personal Shabbat service with your family.  I encourage you to place your hand on the heads of your children and bless them each week.  Imagine how this will affect their future.  I would have loved to have received a weekly blessing when I was growing up.  

We also sing a special blessing song for the children.  You can hear it HERE.

Next week, I will share the blessing for the wife.  I love and treasure these words every time my husband speaks them over me. 

Until then, Shalom 


I'm linking up today with:


  1. This is beautiful. I bless my children each night with these words, "You are a beautiful wonderful child of God and dad and mom love you always and forever no matter what."

  2. What a wonderful reminder that we not only need to pray for our children, but to let them hear us blessing them. Thank you, Gail!

  3. Lovely. My children get prayed over regularly, but not with a specific blessing.

  4. I love this and I love learning about the traditions of your faith! My husband blesses our boys each night before bed and in turn sends them to bless me. Since I have five sons, it always makes me smile to read the Scripture, "Her sons shall rise up and called her blessed."

  5. Love this. Thanks for sharing. We have done this many times in our home as well. It makes me tear up every time. It is so special to bless our kids this way.