Blessing the Children
The above picture is Yaakov blessing his grandchildren, Ephraim and Menashe. At one time, Yaakov never believed he would see his Yosef again. Yaakov not only is blessed to see Yosef again but he also is able to bless Yaakov's children.
The custom of blessing one's children originates in the Bible. On the eve of Yom Kippur, on Shabbat and holidays many parents lay their hands on the head of each child, blessing them with the priests benediction.
For boys, the introductory line is:
May you be like Ephraim and Menashe.
יְשִׂימְךָ אֱלהיִם כְּאֶפְרַיְם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה.
For girls, the introductory line is:
May you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.
יְשִׂימֵךְ אֱלהיִם כְּשָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה.
For both boys and girls, the rest of the blessing is:
May God bless you and guard you.
יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
May God show you favor and be gracious to you.
יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
May God show you kindness and grant you peace.
יִשָּׂא יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלום
Everyone please give a blessing to the person next you.
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