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A Blessing for Peace, Health, Joy, Prosperity, and Kindness by Reb Zalman

Reb Zalman's Watertank Blessing, a collage stitched from photos taken by R' Netanel Miles-Yépez (credit: Reb Zalman, Netanel Miles Yépez, and Aharon Varady, CC BY-SA)

Reb Zalman’s Watertank Blessing, a collage stitched from photos taken by R’ Netanel Miles-Yépez (credit: Reb Zalman, Netanel Miles Yépez, and Aharon Varady, CC BY-SA)

In March 2016, R’ Netanel Miles-Yépez wrote:

Years ago, my teacher, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, of blessed memory, told me that he had once hiked into the mountains and spray-painted “holy graffiti” on a water reserve tank. He was inspired by the experiments of Dr. Masaru Emoto who claimed that even writing emotionally charged words on a bottle of water changed the structure of the water itself. Words of hate created chaotic structures, and words of love, beautiful patterns. So Reb Zalman took a path into the mountains behind his home in Boulder and hiked up to a large water tank that provided water to the community and spray-painted on it: “Blessings for peace, health, joy, prosperity, and kindness.” Today, a little over a year since his passing, I decided to hike up into the mountains to see if I could find the water tank and see if his holy graffiti still existed. I reached the water tank just after six o’clock in the evening. There was plenty of grafitti on it, but none of it “holy”—at least not on the part of it I could see. I decided to look around the back of it. The ground was wet, so I walked the narrow cement edge around the tank, until finally, I came to the faded black remains of Reb Zalman’s grafitti. After some twenty years, and probably more than one paint over, it was still here! There was no vantage point from which to take a picture of all of it, so I did what I could to capture it in a series of photos.

Since I’m nowhere near Colorado I figured that if I could stitch together the images Reb Netanel took, I too could take part in Reb Zalman’s intention and blessing. So I brought them together and had them printed up on a mug to drink from. The stitched together image is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license in case you want to print out this image on your own. (If you wish to buy the one that I made, they’re available here for anyone who wants. All proceeds benefit the Open Siddur Project. Reb Zalman was one of the very first contributors to the Open Siddur Project, a realization of his dream for a Database Davennen.)

My desk with a blessing from Reb Zalman (credit: Aharon Varady, license: CC BY-SA)

My desk with a blessing from Reb Zalman (credit: Aharon Varady, license: CC BY-SA)

If you do drink from this mug, don’t forget to prepare it as a holy vessel by saying the following blessing and immersing it in a mikveh or natural flowing body of water.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֶלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו,
וְצִוָנוּ עַל טְבִלַת כֶּלִי:
Blessed are you,
YHVH our elo’ah,
cosmic majesty,
who hallowed us with their mitsvot,
and obligated us to immerse a new vessel.

Barukh atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam, asher kidshanu bemitsvotav, vetsivanu al tevilat kli

Before drinking water or any healthy liquid, make a blessing to acknowledge the one from whom all is created.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרוֹ:‏
Blessed are you,
YHVH our elo’ah,
cosmic majesty,
Who brings all things into being through their word (logos).

Barukh atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam, shehakol nih’yeh bid’varo

And after you feel satiated, remember to bless.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
בּוֹרֵא נְפָשׁוֹת רַבּוֹת
וְחֶסְרוֹנָן עַל כָּל מַה שֵּׁבָּרָאתָ
לְהַחֲיוֹת בָּהֶם נֶֽפֶשׁ כָּל חָי:
בָּרוּךְ חַי הָעוֹלָמִים:
Blessed are you,
YHVH our elo’ah,
Cosmic Majesty,
who creates a diverse multitude of creatures,
each shaped with a dependency (ḥesronan, lit. ‘absence’)
through which it is enlivened with the Spirit of Life.
Blessed is the Life of the Worlds.

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‘olam borei nefashot rabot veḥesronan al kol mah shebara’ta lehaḥayot bahem nefesh kol ḥai barukh ḥei ha‘olamim


Sources

Reb Zalman's Watertank Blessing, a collage stitched from photos taken by R' Netanel Miles-Yépez (credit: Reb Zalman, Netanel Miles Yépez, and Aharon Varady, CC BY-SA)

Reb Zalman’s Watertank Blessing, a collage stitched from photos taken by R’ Netanel Miles-Yépez (credit: Reb Zalman, Netanel Miles Yépez, and Aharon Varady, CC BY-SA)

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