#blogExodus – Day 2: Bless

blogexodus5775I’m pondering what purpose blessings actually serve in our lives. OK – in my life. Right now, I’m receiving a lot of them, because I’m sneezing like crazy. (For a great explication of why we bless people when they sneeze, read this piece from Snopes.com. I know it feels important to me to have someone bless me when I sneeze. But why? Is it the act of blessing or the mere acknowledgment of the act? Yes.

Maybe the acknowledgment itself is a blessing. A blessing of empathy. Of oh-poor-baby-you-have-a cold. Of the person’s wish that I feel better.

I’m tempted to give it a deeper meaning, but for me that might take it too far.

I also really like the ritual of blessings in liturgy. Especially the morning blessings preceding the Shacharit service (translation from Learn Hebrew Pod):

Praised are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who gives our hearts understanding to distinguish day from night.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who has created me as a descendant of Israel.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who has created me as a free human being.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who opens the eyes of the blind.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who provides clothing for the naked.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who frees the captive.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who raises up the fallen.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who spread out the earth above the waters.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who has supplied my every want.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who strengthens our steps.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who girds Israel with strength.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who crowns Israel with splendor.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who gives strength to the weary.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe,
Who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids.

There is something in ritual itself that feels like a blessing to me. I find comfort in knowing that my ancestors chanted these words (in Hebrew, as I do today). I love that all around the world, Jews chant these blessings in the morning. Even though I don’t often get to morning services (OK – I’m not a morning person; I admit it), when I do, I love reciting these prayers. Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam

Blessings. Continuity. Thankfulness. Love.

Amein.


I’m participating this year in #blogExodus, a daily series of posts, tweets, and status updates relating to themes of Passover and Exodus, created by ImaBima. The series lasts for 14 days – not nearly as long as the Jews wandered in the desert all those years ago. You can find other posts via the #blogExodus hashtag.

About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Medford, MA, part time with my 11 year-old daughter and full time with our dog, Toast, and our cats, Samson and Hercules.
This entry was posted in Exodus, God, Judaism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s