This post presents an emotional prayer written by a mother on the occasion of her son’s Bar Mitzvah. A heartfelt plea to God, this prayer is comprised of gratitude, praise for both God and the Bar Mitzvah boy, and prayers for divine protection, mercy and blessing. Renee Septimus shared this prayer on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances.
The Voice of a Mother
Ribono Shel Olam, I stand humbly before you, a mother like Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, Leah and Chana, watching her son take steps towards adulthood and towards assuming his role and responsibility for the Jewish people. Always I’ve felt intimately our partnership in the creation and maintenance of the children you have blessed me with. But as they leave my womb and the womb of our household, I feel and need your presence ever more as I confront the limitations of my own ability to protect them.
From the moment I knew he lived inside me, this son has inspired joy in my life and the lives of those around him. Ribono Shel Olam, help him maintain his love of life and laughter, his integrity and honesty, his sensitivity and compassion. Guide him to think for himself with an open mind, seeking truth and goodness. And keep him always safe from harm, ready to do your sacred work, his desire and motivation always toward Torah and Mitzvot.
Keep him strong in body, soul and spirit so that he will have an easy life without strain or struggle. Give him the will to do your bidding so that he will never need to depend on anyone and so that all his material needs will be fulfilled all his life.
And, at the time, help him find his zivug easily as you provided the zivug for Adam Harishon. Give him his livelihood from your outstretched, generous hand so that he will never need to depend on anyone and so that all his material needs will be fulfilled all his life.
Grant him a good old age, blessed with children who he will see achieve good marriages, committed to Torah and Mitzvot.
Ribono Shel Olam this humble mother is filled with gratitude for all of life’s blessings which you have bestowed upon me. Watch over my beloved husband, keep him safe from any harm or illness. Grant us long life filled with love and peace so that we may see and enjoy our children, children’s children and their children. Keep them as close to you and as protected as a child in her mother’s womb, against her mother’s breast, wrapped in her mother’s arms. Help my son to grow to be a good man with fine qualities, aware always of your presence, wise and dedicated to good works, charity and acts of loving kindness.
Dear God, I believe and trust in you and I come before you, my soul in my hands and I beg you, my creator, the force which sustains all life, to accept my prayer with mercy, this prayer which comes from the depths of my heart. Amen.
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