|Reconstructed Source (Hebrew)||Source (English)|
אָהַבְתִּי כִּי־יִשְׁמַע יְהֹוָה אֶת־קוֹלִי תַּחֲנוּנָי׃
כִּי־הִטָּה אׇזְנוֹ לִי
וּמְצָרֵי שְׁאוֹל מְצָאוּנִי
צָרָה וְיָגוֹן אֶמְצָא׃
אָנָּה יְהֹוָה מַלְּטָה נַפְשִׁי׃
I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications.
Because He hath inclined His ear unto me,
therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.
The cords of death compassed me,
and the pains of Sheol get hold upon me:
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord;
O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. (Psalms 116:1-4)
חַנּוּן יְהֹוָה וְצַדִּיק
שֹׁמֵר פְּתָאיִם יְהֹוָה
דַּלֹּתִי וְלִי יְהוֹשִׁיעַ׃
שׁוּבִי נַפְשִׁי לִמְנוּחָיְכִי
כִּי־יְהֹוָה גָּמַל עָלָיְכִי׃
כִּי חִלַּצְתָּ נַפְשִׁי מִמָּוֶת
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserveth the simple,
I was brought low and he saved me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul,
for the Lord hath dealt beautifully with thee.
For Thou hast delivered my soul from death,
mine eyes from tears,
and my feet from failing. (Psalms 116:5-8)
אֶתְהַלֵּךְ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה בְּאַרְצוֹת הַחַיִּים׃
מָה־אָשִׁיב לַיהֹוָה כׇּל־תַּגְמוּלוֹהִי עָלָי׃
לְךָ־אֶזְבַּח זֶבַח תּוֹדָה
וּבְשֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֶקְרָא׃
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalms 116:9)
What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me? (Psalms 116:12)
I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call upon the name of the Lord. (Psalms 116:17)
Blessed art Thou,
O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who bestowest mercies upon thy children. This blessing in English appears to be an adaptation of the birkat ha-gomel, בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַגּוֹמֵל לְחַיָּבִים טוֹבוֹת שֶׁגְּמָלַנִי כׇּל טוֹב׃
Blessed art Thou,
O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
who hast kept us in life,
preserved us and enabled us
to attain to this occasion. Accompanying these two blessings are their Hebrew translations, which Lily Montagu presumably cut out from some book or pamphlet and taped to the page.
הִנֵּה נַחֲלַת יְהֹוָה בָּנִים
שָׂכָר פְּרִי הַבָּטֶן׃
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord;
and the fruit of the body is His reward. (Psalms 127:3)
כִּי אֵין בִּלְתֶּךָ
וְאֵין צוּר כֵּאלֹהֵינוּ׃
There is none holy as the Lord;
for there is none besides Thee,
neither is there any rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)
The Mother Will Say:
I turn unto Thee with a deeply grateful heart,
for the deliverence which Thou hast wrought for me.
By thy help,
I have come through a time of great trial,
through pain and weakness, unto strength.
Thou art our guardian.
Thou enrichest our life with many gifts.
Humbly we behold Thy goodness in the gift of children
for which we offer the fullest thanks of our hearts.
And I beseech Thee, my God,
help me and my husband
to be worthy of the blessing
Thou hast given us in this child,
and to show our gratitude to Thee
by unwearying efforts to lead him
in the way of righteousness and holiness.
Teach us so to guide and instruct him
that he shall grow up to be loyal to Judaism
and a worthy member of the Jewish community.
Dear God and Father,
we entreat Thy fatherly love for this child.
May he learn more and more,
as he is more able to know,
that Thou art ever near him,
growing up in Thy presence as in the sunshine,
and keeping the sense of it all the days of his life.
Open his eyes to see the beauty and wonder of the world about him,
so that there may be a perpetual spring of freshness in his heart.
let him learn to love the goodness that is in man and woman.
We do not ask that he shall be spared the trials and troubles
which no human being may escape.
But we humbly beg for him a strength that shall increase with his years,
and courage to face and subdue all evil.
Grant him above all a loving heart that he may live to do thy will in faithfulness.
Cause him whose name shall be ([baby’s name] This service was used in the blessing of Raymond Sion David Barda. )
to attain unto virtue and knowledge,
and to be a blessing.
Bless him with long life.
The Shema might be recited. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Priestly Benediction. (Numbers 6:23-27)
This undated “Service for the Blessing of a Baby” by the Hon. Lily H. Montagu (1873-1963) from the archives of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London, was published in, Lily Montagu: Sermons, Addresses, Letters, and Prayers (ed. Ellen Umansky, 1985), pp. 339-341. Based on the name of the baby for whom the service was performed, we feel confident in dating this service to June 1962. I have added the Masoretic and liturgical Hebrew and set it side-by-side with the Motagu’s text in English. –Aharon Varady
|1||This blessing in English appears to be an adaptation of the birkat ha-gomel, בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַגּוֹמֵל לְחַיָּבִים טוֹבוֹת שֶׁגְּמָלַנִי כׇּל טוֹב׃|
|2||Accompanying these two blessings are their Hebrew translations, which Lily Montagu presumably cut out from some book or pamphlet and taped to the page.|
|3||This service was used in the blessing of Raymond Sion David Barda.|
“Service for the Blessing of a Baby, by Lilian Helen Montagu (1962)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
ברוכה הבאה | Blessed be the newcomer!, a ceremony for the naming of a baby daughter by Joshua Gutoff (ca. 1989)
שמחת בת (זבד הבת) | Simḥat Bat: Zeved HaBat (The Gift of a Daughter), a Ceremony Guide to the Naming of a Jewish Girl by Dovi Seldowitz (2021)