This idea for this prayer was suggested by a member of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, whom I met while serving as their 5776 Yom Kippur Scholar. The idea resonated for me because I have three heirloom tallitot that I plan to pass along, when the time is right. Places for personalizing the prayer are shown with blank lines, followed by [instructions in brackets]. Other word choices are identified with a slash (“/”). This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.
On Handing Down an Heirloom Tallit at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Dear __________ [add name],
At this moment of your bar/bat mitzvah
I/we bequeath this tallit to you as a symbol of my/our pride in you
And in the hope that it will keep you connected to our history and our heritage.
This tallit was _________ [add background of the tallit].
May this moment be the beginning of a miraculous journey.
May this tallit become a cherished symbol of your Jewish life.
My prayer is that each time you put it on
You remember our family’s devotion to you,
That you remember this special moment,
And you remember the Jewish call to heal the world.
May it be God’s will that one day
You pass this tallit to the next generation, in love.
G-d of our fathers and mother,
Bless my/our _______ [identify the relationship; such as: daughter, grandson, niece]
With health and prosperity,
Wisdom and happiness,
A life of blessings and peace.
How splendid is this moment!
How amazing in beauty, trust and joy!
My heart is full.
ברוך אתה ה’ אלקינו מלך העולם
.שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה
Baruch ata adonai elohenu melech ha olam,
shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe
Who has given us life, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this day.
© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day
Postscript: Related prayers include: “Meditation on a Child’s First Torah Reading,” “Bind and Wrap,” “Light of G-d” and “Gathering, A Dream of Reunion.” And this is a related story called “Hershal Dovid: A Torah Reading Story.”
Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.
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