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Bless Your Children

August 31, 2016 | by Adina Soclof, MS. CCC-SLP

5 lessons I’ve learned from blessing my kids Friday night.

My husband and I bless our children every Friday night. There is nothing so powerful as placing your hands on your child’s head and reciting the words of our forefathers used to bless their own children.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned from blessing my kids:

1. You love your kids no matter what:

Every parent-child relationship has it issues, some more difficult than others. Some weeks are tougher than others. Yet everything seems to melt away in the light of the Shabbos candles. Our kids have been trained since they were babies to line themselves up by age for their bracha (blessing). They know that whatever happened between us is set aside at that time. It is a truly connecting and peaceful moment.

2. Pray that your children go through life with a positive attitude:

The blessing is comprised of two verses. The first one is gender specific:

For boys: May God make you like Ephraim and Menasheh.

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

The second verse, which comes from the Torah, is the priestly blessing:

May the Lord bless you and watch over you. May the Lord cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you. May the Lord raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace.' They shall bestow My Name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them."

Included in this blessing is a prayer that God should always look out for you and that you should feel God’s love and protection.

When I bless my children I focus on praying that my kids should feel that whatever happens is for the good and that God should help them act in a way that will make Him proud.

3. There is no one size fits all:

The standard blessing consists of these two verses, but you can add your own personal touch.

Each person has a Torah verse that corresponds to their Hebrew name. My husband starts his blessing with that verse gives each child his signature bear hug and a kiss. Since our second son is leaving us in a few weeks to learn in Israel, this past year my husband has counted down to his departure, “Only 17 more Shabboses until you go!”

I give a huge hug and kiss and try to give a compliment to each child: “I appreciate all the last minute help before Shabbos.” “The brownies you made smell amazing, I can’t wait to eat them.”

4. There is never a better time to practice gratefulness:

There is something about the glow of the Shabbos candles, your children bathed and dressed in their Shabbos best that makes your heart fill with thankfulness. I try not to let that feeling pass without thanking God for Shabbos and for the sense of peace that has descended on our home. I thank God for the abundance of food that we have to celebrate Shabbos. Finally, I concentrate on being grateful for my family, my husband and the gift of being a parent to each of these unique individuals entrusted in our care.

5. It is a great opportunity to think of others:

As I think of all that I am grateful for, I also think of those who may not have all their physical needs satisfied, or those who are lacking in their spiritual needs. I think of those children who don't have parents to bless them and take a minute to send prayers and blessings their way.

Blessing for a Son

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Blessing for a Daughter

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