Off the Pulpit

Why Don’t We Bless One Another?

At the end of Genesis and the end of the Torah, Jacob and Moses offer extended blessings. We take this in stride – after all, they are biblical titans, and obviously they have both the power and the disposition to bless. Why do we feel so shy then about blessing one another?

It is not because we are inadequate. After all, when you bless someone you are a conduit, not a source. The blessing does not come from me, but through me. You need not be a perfect person (as if there were such a thing) to bless another person. I am passing on to you what is not mine without losing it myself, a candle igniting a second candle, none of them the source of fire.

On Friday nights Jewish parents bless their children. Yet everyone can offer this boon to others; a blessing is a wish elevated by intangible power. May God bless you with the courage to offer blessings.