Week of August 3- 7, 2015 (18- 22 Av 5775)
Week of August 10- 14, 2015 (25- 29 Av 5775)
Week of August 17- 21, 2015 (2- 6 Ellul 5775)
August 9, 2015 ~ 24 Av 5775
On Friday Nights, preferably between candle lighting and Kiddush (but any time is okay) we bless our children of all ages with the following words.
Ye'simcha Elohim ke-Ephraim ve'chi-Menashe
May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menashe
Just before Jacob dies, he blesses his two grandsons, Ephraim and Menashe. He says they should become role models for the Jewish people in the future.
On that day Jacob blessed them, he said, "In time to come, the people of Israel will use you as a blessing. They will say, 'May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menashe'." (Genesis 48:20)
Ephraim and Menashe did in fact become role models for the Jewish People. Unlike those before them, including Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers, Ephraim and Menashe truly got along and openly showed their love for one another. In addition, they maintained their Jewish identity even though they grew up in the Diaspora of Egypt.
Ye'simech Elohim ke-Sarah, Rivka, Ra-chel ve-Lay'ah
May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
Each of the matriarchs had qualities that qualified them as role models as well. The matriarchs were strong and capable women. They endured difficult home lives, hardships in marriage, infertility, abduction, envy from other woman, and difficult children. Nevertheless, these righteous women, through their individual passion, their partnerships with the patriarchs and their loyalty to G-d, succeeded in building strong families that were the nucleus of the Jewish people.
After the above blessing is recited for a son or daughter, we continue with this blessing for both boys and girls.
Ye'varech'echa Adonoy ve'yish'merecha.
Ya'ir Adonoy panav eilecha viy-chuneka.
Yisa Adonoy panav eilecha, ve'yasim lecha shalom.
May G-d bless you and watch over you.
May G-d shine His face toward you and show you favor.
May G-d be favorably disposed toward you and grant you peace.