The 1st Time I Blessed My Oldest Daughter

The 1st Time I Blessed My Oldest Daughter

17 years ago. My first Friday night as a mother. I gave birth on Monday, but I am still stuck in the hospital with an infection.

Josh and I sit down to Friday-night dinner in the hospital dining area, with 6-day-old Hadas at our side.

There is Shalom Alechem and Eshet Chayil and then Josh and I reach down to place our hands, ever-so-gently, on our new baby—as soft and delicate and lovely as a dandelion puff—and recite a blessing over her for the first time.

“May Hashem bless you
And keep you:
May Hashem make His face shine on you
And be gracious to you;
May Hashem turn His face toward you
And give you peace.”
Years and years of Friday-night blessings are joined, at Rabbanit Yemima’s urging, by years and years of daily blessings from Eema.

1st grade starts today!

And I reach down and place my hands on Hadas’ head and silently plead…

“May Hashem bless you…”

First day of youth group!

“And keep you…”

Bat mitzvah!

“May Hashem make His face shine on you…”

8th grade graduation!

“And be gracious to you…”

High school!

“May Hashem turn His face toward you”…..
17 years have passed since we gave Hadas her first blessing that first Shabbat.

It’s hard to believe. A year from now Hadas, IY”H, will graduate 12th grade. Which will be followed by National Service and many other wonderful things beyond, again, IY”H…

Early this morning Hadas set off for the beach with a friend, but before she stepped out the door I said, possibly for the millionth time, “Wait Hadasi, let me give you a bracha before you go…”

And even though she bent over a bit, I was struck that I still had to reach up to place my hands upon the golden head of this beautiful young woman. My Hadas.

The days are long, and the years are short. Ain’t it the truth?

And as she stood there waiting, I silently pleaded“…And give you peace” and then I gave her a kiss and waved goodbye.


  1. Beautiful

  2. Dear Chana, It is so nice how you catch the “normal” and make it special. Thank you for sharing, it made me more aware of the blessing that our children are :)Our children are so special, in the fast day to day live, it is difficult to appreciate them. B”H you helped me stop for a minute and be touched 🙂

  3. wonderful, chana~

  4. So beautiful!!!
    As I hold my new baby in my arms and kiss my oldest this is the awesomeness and sadness that I feel, the beauty and incredibleness of them growing so quickly…too quickly!



  5. Do you really bless your children with Hashem’s name on a daily basis? Is this something that people typically do and Rebetzin Yemima encourages? It sounds like a beautiful thing that I would like to adopt – would like to hear more about it first, though. thanks!

    • JewishMom

      yes, I try to do this every day for all my kids. Rabbanit Yemima recommends it, but it’s still pretty unusual. Though I know a regular Israel litvish charedi woman who does the same thing– so it’s not only Rabbanit Yemima students.

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