Category Archives: Blessing

Hesed Is The Prayer And The Answer

When Sarah died at the age of 127, Abraham’s family lost its hesed, the caring, steadfast acts that connect people and sustain the world. Sarah’s hesed was unfailing, even in difficult times. Let this be your hesed to me, Abraham … Continue reading

Posted in Blessing, Parshat HaShavuah, Poetry, Torah | 2 Comments

Heroes Who Limp

Jacob’s midnight assailant was surprised at his adversary’s great strength. He wondered if Jacob might be an angel like himself. Angels have no leg joints, the midrash teaches, so he touched Jacob at the hip to determine whether his opponent’s … Continue reading

Posted in Angels, Blessing, Midrash, Poetry, Torah | 4 Comments

Before and Within

A strange Yom Kippur story was told by Rabbi Ishmael, a High Priest of the 2nd Temple: Once, I entered before and within (the Holy of Holies) to offer the incense and I saw Akatriel Yah, the Lord of Hosts, sitting on … Continue reading

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Guarding Ourselves: A Seatbelt Beracha

Years ago I created a beracha, a blessing, for putting on my car seatbelt:  Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, king of the universe, who has made us unique by giving us commandments and has commanded us to guard … Continue reading

Posted in Blessing, Talmud | 1 Comment

The Art of Blessing

I am not sentimental about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote with no more feeling than one says gesundheit. Poet, Marge Piercy, is impatient with the ancient formula of beracha/blessing.  Certainly, formulas fall short of the evocative blessings that … Continue reading

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