Friday, February 01, 2008

A Blessing for Children

According to Marvin R. Wilson in his book, "Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith (p. 218),
A beautiful practice is often followed in traditional Jewish homes on the eve of Sabbath. Shabbat shalom ("Sabbath peace") is the appropriate Sabbath greeting among members of the family. When the father arrives home from praying in synagogue he customarily blesses his sons and daughters. Putting his hands on the heads of his children, he recites this blessing for sons: "May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh." For his daughters he prays: "May God make you like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and give you peace [shalom]." The children reply, "Amen." Thus the Sabbath begins with a prayer for peace.

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