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Prayer on the Occasion of a Premature Birth, by Rabbi Elliot Kukla


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Blessing for a Premature Birth
May the One
who blessed our ancestors
bless you, little one, who was born
in your own time and at your own hour.
May you follow in the footsteps
of your ancestor Jacob
who arrived after Esau and was not expected,
and Peretz, the son of Tamar,
who burst forth early surprising the midwives.
We say b’shaah tovah, may it be in a good hour,
and the hour when you were born was truly good,
as you are a perfect image of God.
It is impossible to predict the exact moment
when trees will blossom and give fruit;
we can only bless its produce.
Likewise, we can only bless
the ongoing miracle of your gradual unfolding into life
and the miracle of each of your precious breaths.
You came into the world
at your own time and in your own way;
may you continue to grow and thrive
along your own unique, curving, and surprising pathways.
May we, your parent(s) and your loved ones,
have the z’chut, the privilege,
of raising you to a life of Torah (learning and community),
chuppah (loving relationships),
and maasim tovim (good acts).

“Blessing for a Premature Birth” was written by Rabbi Elliot Kukla and was first published in Where Healing Resides (CCAR 2013), p. 48.




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