The Jewish people will use you as a blessing...

by Rabbi Dovid Cohen

I love the Friday night blessings of my children.

This is an intimate time where I get to focus on each child completely. As I bless each child, I think of their strengths and their weaknesses. I think about everything that I want for them as they continue to grow. I pray that G-d guides them in clarity and that they accomplish all that they are able to. My practice is to call each child by their full name. I do this because I learnt that parents should call a child by their full Hebrew name at least once a week. I choose to do this on Friday night when I bless them. I bless them, pray for them and I kiss their heads three times. In return, they each kiss both my cheeks. I make sure to verbally encourage each child and to share how proud I am of a particular trait or accomplishment that is theirs. This helps build their self-esteem and confidence, and it strengthens our relationship. Among the chaos of the week, this is our uninterrupted moment to share in, completely.

Rabbi Dovid Cohen

Rabbi Dovid Cohen is a world-renowned posek and the rabbi of Congregation Gvul Ya'avitz in Brooklyn, New York. The author of numerous Sefarim on Tefila, Tanach, Pirkei Avos and the Hagada. Rav Cohen has served as Associate Editor of The Encyclopedia Talmudit and Dean of the Long Island Commission of Rabbis.

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