ברכת הורים לבר או בת מצווה | Parents’ blessing for a Bar or Bat Mitsvah by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

בְּרִיךְ רַחְמָנָא דְאַרְעָא וּשְׁמַיָא
דִי מִפוּמֵיה אוֹרָיְיתָא אִתְגַלְיָא
Blessed Loving One of the Heavens and Earth,
from whose mouth Torah was revealed,

לבר מצווה:
אֲשֶׁר סִיֵּעַ בַּעֲדֵנוּ לְחַנֵּךְ אֶת בְּנֵנוּ,
לְגַדְּלוֹ לְתּוֹרָה וּלְמִצְוֺת,
לְאַהֲבַת הַחֶסֶד וְדֶרֶךְ הַמֵישָׁרִים.
 
לבת מצווה:
אֲשֶׁר סִיֵּעַ בַּעֲדֵנוּ לְחַנֵּךְ אֶת בִּתֵּנוּ,
לְגַדְּלָהּ לְתּוֹרָה וּלְמִצְוֺת,
לְאַהֲבַת הַחֶסֶד וְדֶרֶךְ הַמֵישָׁרִים.
(for a bar mitsvah)
who supported us in educating this child,
raising him to Torah and mitsvot,
to the love of righteousness and the path of justice.
 
(for a bat mitsvah)
who supported us in educating this child,
raising her to Torah and mitsvot,
to the love of righteousness and the path of justice.

לבר מצווה:
אָנָא בַּעַל הָרַחֲמִים,
הַשְׁקִיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשְׁךָ עַל הֶמְשֵׁךְ דַרְכּוֹ,
וּבָרֵךְ אֶת הַנַּעַר הַזֶּה כָּל יָמָיו.
 
לבת מצווה:
אָנָא בַּעַל הָרַחֲמִים,
הַשְׁקִיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשְׁךָ עַל הֶמְשֵׁךְ דַרְכָּהּ,
וּבָרֵךְ אֶת הַנַּעֲרָה הַזֹּאת כָּל יָמֶיהָ.
(for a bar mitsvah)
Please Merciful One,
look down from Your holy abode upon the continuation of his path,
and bless this child all his days.
 
(for a bat mitsvah)
Please Merciful One,
look down from Your holy abode upon the continuation of her path,
and bless this child all her days.

וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן.
And let us say amen.

I wrote this brakhah on the occasion of my son Oryah’s bar mitzvah. The Aramaic/Hebrew and the translation are mine. My partner and I recited the blessing after my son was called up to the Torah. The brakhah replaces the ברוך שפטרנו which is recited in some communities. This blessing (which is basically self-explanatory) expresses gratitude for Divine favor leading to this moment and a prayer for Heavenly guidance for my son’s continued path. Though the translation is gender neutral in relation to God, the Hebrew/Aramaic is gendered masculine. This is my practice with regards to my children. I bless my daughter with feminine God language and my son with masculine God language.

[Many thanks to Joanna Harader for sharing her paper collage, “Blessing the Children.” Many thanks to Shira Hannah Fischer for her naqdanut. –Aharon N. Varady]

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