Blessing the Children


I read of a custom to bless one’s children on Friday night. Would you please tell me a little more about this practice? Thank you!



  1. Certainly! A beautiful and widespread Shabbat tradition is to bless one’s children on Friday night.

    The blessing for each son is, “May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe.” (In Hebrew: Ye’simcha Elohim k’Ephraim v’chi’Menashe.)

    For each daughter the blessing is, “May God make you like Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah.” (In Hebrew: Ye’simech Elohim k’Sarah, Rivka, Rachel v’Leah.)

    The two sons of Joseph – Ephraim and Menashe – were role models worthy of emulation. Unlike other brothers before them, such as Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esav, and Joseph and his brothers, Ephraim and Menashe were not rivals. Rather, they were brothers united by their drive to perform good deeds.

    The Matriarchs were exemplary and admirable women. They endured many difficulties, yet these righteous women succeeded in building the Jewish nation.

    Many add the additional blessings:
    “May God bless you and watch over you.
    May God shine His face toward you and show you favor.
    May God be favorably disposed toward you and grant you peace.”

    These blessings are invaluable in helping to instill a feeling of love and bonding between child and parent and implant fond memories of Shabbat and family that last a lifetime.

    Best wishes from the Team