Sophie was recently consecrated as a new pupil in our synagogue’s religious school. During the service, parents read this blessing. I found it moving and absolutely appropriate for a number of occasions. I should add, too, that it’s a prayer that I could see speaking to people from many faiths, not only my own. I hope you’ll find it has something to offer you.
May we create children who will be strong enough to know when they are weak and brave enough to know when they are afraid; who will be proud and unbending in defeat and humble and gentle in victory; whose wishbones will not be where their backbones should be; children who will know that to know themselves is the foundation stone of all true knowledge.
May we rear them, not in the paths of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Here let them learn to stand up in the storm; here let them learn compassion for those who fail.
May we raise children whose hearts will be clean, whose goals will be high, who will seek to master themselves before they seek to master others; who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; who will reach into the future but never forget the past. And after all these are theirs, may we add, enough of a sense of humor so that they may always be serious but never take themselves too seriously; a touch of humility so that they may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.