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Blessings have been on my mind lately. In the Jewish wedding ceremony there are seven blessings recited, and, for better or for worse, Iâ€™m finding them complicated. Which is why, when our house started to shake during a thunderstorm the other night, I was already awake turning blessing after blessing over and over in my mind.
The thunder rolled, the lightning flashed, and my mind immediately went to the damage that weâ€™d seen this winter, wondering if this storm would re-expose those leaks. After a few minutes of almost deafening rain, my mind finally slowed past its catastrophic style thinking to an appreciation of all of the noises, smells, and feelings that accompany a thunderstorm.
I was thankful for the rain that we receive here in New England, as opposed the droughts that are impacting so much of our world. I was thankful that I was inside, and lucky enough to be safe from the elements. I was grateful to be cuddled up under my blanket next to my sleeping partner, with my sleeping cat in the nook behind my knees.
I noticed Justin stirring from his sleep. â€śGood thunderstorm,â€ť he muttered to himself.
It might seem simplistic, but right thereâ€¦ that was a blessing.
One of the pieces of Jewish learning Iâ€™ve most taken to heart is the idea that a prayer should speak to what is truly in your heartâ€”the trappings of the words matter a whole lot less. (This idea seems particularly relevant when coming at the idea of one religionâ€™s prayer from a multi-faith lens.)
Which is why weâ€™re going to take the seven blessings and take them from complicated ideas to a simple â€śgood thunderstormâ€ť style message. Â But we need your help.
Weâ€™re asking seven of our friends to craft their own blessings based on the meaning of the originals. Theyâ€™ll then be recited in the original Hebrew by our rabbi. What matters to us is less of the traditional language (weâ€™ll have our bases covered by our rabbiâ€™s recitations), but the sentiments passed along by the friends reciting the blessings.
Hereâ€™s where weâ€™re asking for your help: if you were to simplify the following prayers to one word, what would it be?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!