Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giving and Receiving - A Meditation on the Priestly Blessing - from twoperspectives - May 28, 2015

[With the 45th anniversary of my Confirmation and the 34th anniversary of my rabbinic ordination approaching, I wanted to write about what it feels like to offer the Priestly Blessing to a community member at a special occasion and also how it feels to receive that blessing.  May you, the reader, feel the sense of overflow embodied in these words and in the interpretation below: 
May the Eternal One bless you and keep you.
May the Eternal One look kindly upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Eternal One show favor towards you and grant you peace]

From the one/The One who gives blessing

Looking in your eyes
Seeing how you have grown
You are a partner 
A student
A companion
A friend
I place my hands on your shoulder
So the blessing will flow through me 
to you
Although I am only human
There are hands that have blessed me before 
that in turn now stand behind me
and lie at my foundation 
as I recite the words for you
Granting you life
an outpouring of love
Moral insight
the fire of vision 
prayers answered
 reconciliation that readily comes when you seek it
Harmonious cooperation of human forces
    to the ethical and spiritual ends of God's dominion
well being

From the one who receives blessing 

And as I stand before you
your hands on my shoulders
the Divine standing behind you 
and holding you from the depths of the Oneness 
that unites us all 
I see God's eyes in your eyes
I feel God's warmth and support in your touch
I sense the hope you have for me
the promise of my future
and my responsibility to see it through
I look back at moments
when I knew that Care, Goodness, Love, Knowledge and Insight
Illumined my path
and made me better than I was
and led me forward to new heights
of self-confidence, of self-love
and to forgiveness of my own misjudgments 
and the ability to move beyond the misunderstandings that led to estrangement from others
so that I could feel in this blessing being placed upon me
Your Acceptance, Your Grace, Your Light, Your Wisdom,
Your Instruction and Your Peace. 
May these gifts ever be mine
And, whenever I have the opportunity, may I pass them on to my family
to my fellow community members
to all of humanity
and to the entire world. 

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