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Rabbi Sydni's Shabbat Sermons

פרשת נשא, תש״פ

Parshat Naso, 5780

by Rabbi Sydni

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Y'varekhekha - May God Bless You and Protect You

It’s been a hard week, and for good reason. We are still in the midst of a pandemic. We have seen protests and riots across the country, based in the real suffering that so many people face on a daily basis. And of course, we have our daily struggles - finances, health, emotions, and relationships. Instead of telling you to do something, today, I’d like to offer you a blessing, based on a blessing that occurs in Parashat Nasso, a blessing quite familiar to us at Agudath Achim.

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May God bless you and protect you…

May God bless you with what it is that you need - love, confidence, physical safety, or just a little more of what you already have. What you need may be different from the needs of your aunt or your next door neighbor; regardless, what you need deserves to be fulfilled.

May God bless you with the material comfort to give you the freedom to spend more of your time learning and acting.

May God protect you from those influences you try to push away each and every day. May your pride, your addiction, your boredom, your anger never get in the way of the values you know to be true.

May God keep you away from harm, from suffering, from fear, and from regret.

And may God keep the blessings you already have in this world safe and abundant.

May God shine God’s face upon you and be gracious to you.

May God grant you the enlightenment, the wisdom, to use the blessings you enjoy towards repairing the world now and for generations to come.

May God grant you the insight to make decisions with confidence and compassion.

May God help you to open your eyes wide enough to see the light shining right in front of you.

May God help you to recognize the shadows, the people and areas starving for some extra glow.

And may God help you and those around you to see you exactly as you are, exactly as you strive to be seen.

May God lift up God’s face to you and grant you peace.

May God continue to be gracious to you, through the nurturing of the people and communities you love.

May you gain access to God’s perspective, to see with God’s eyes beauty and good in every aspect of Creation.

May you never forget that your health and happiness, your knowledge and compassion have been given to you to share.

May God grant you freedom from violence, hunger, worry, and hatred - freedom to bless and freedom to be blessed.

And may God grant you, your community, and your world the true, simple peace of absence of fear and presence of love.

יברכך ה׳ וישמרך

יאר ה׳ פניו אליך ויחונך

ישא ה׳ פניו אליך וישם לך שלום