Friday, December 26, 2008

Parent's Prayer

This morning I attended the Bat Mitzvah of a colleague's daughter, at the area of Robinson's Arch, near the Western Wall. The Conservative Jewish ceremony moved me, but especially the prayer that her parents gave when she was finished reading from the Torah. It made me cry, not only because of the emotion of the event, but because of the process through which I am plodding at the moment.

After the Bat Mitzvah itself, each guest went to the Wall and gave our own personal prayers, and I felt that this was a place where I could be heard, though I believe that G-d is not geography specific, listening wherever we may be found.

I reproduce this Parent's Prayer below, for all of you who are already or are trying to become mothers:

What I wish for my child I wish for all our children.
I wish for you to be a person of character: strong but not tough, gentle but not weak.
I wish for you to be righteous but not self-righteous, honest but not unforgiving.
Wherever you journey, may your steps be firm and may you walk in just paths and not be afraid.
Whenever you speak, may your words be words of wisdom and friendship.
May your hands build and your heart preserve what is good and beautiful in our world.
May the voices of the generations of our people move through you, and may the G-d of our ancestors be your G-d as well.
May you know that there is a people, a rich heritage to which you belong; and from that sacred place you are connected to all who dwell on Earth.
May the stories of our people be upon your heart and the grace of the Torah-rhythm dance in your soul.

(Written by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso)

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