In Vayechi, Jacob “blesses” his children. They read like praises for some and curses for others. This is consistent with the parenting skills exhibited in Genesis, where parents play favorites, inflict trauma and neglect children. Every child deserves a loving parent, rich in blessings. For Vayechi 5775, here’s a prayer to be said by new parents who wish to provide nothing less. Gender choices are identified with a slash, such as “him / her.” Content choices are identified in [brackets.] This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.
On the Birth of a Child
Wonder of creation,
You are proof of Divine love,
Witness to our Maker’s Glory,
Witness to the blessed partnership
Between [woman, man][us] and G-d.
What makes me worthy of you?
What makes me able to gently guide you on your sacred path,
Your own journey to wisdom, charity, righteousness and Torah?
Father of the universe,
Mother of creation,
Be my guide and teacher,
As I father/mother/parent this new life,
This precious gift.
Give me humility, compassion and wisdom
To teach her/him Torah and Mitzvot
Through my actions and my life,
So that we become each other’s blessings.
Gracious G-d, be my partner in raising this child,
For this gift is not mine.
It is ours to nurture, to grow,
And to give back to the world for tikun olam.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: For Veyechi 5773, I posted a prayer called “Near the End: A Meditation.” For prayers about family, click here. See also: “On the Birth of Grandchildren.” This prayer first appeared on this site on June 25, 2010.
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