Harley has three grown sons, Larry, Richard and Bobby. All three boys have families of their own and they’re at the table too. Dinner is ready to be served, but there’s one more thing to do. First Larry walks around to the head of the table where his Dad is sitting. Harley has to stand on his tip-toes to reach the top of his son’s head. He places two hands over his forehead and says a prayer: “Ye’simcha Elohim ke-Ephraim ve hee-Menashe.”
They all take their turns and then the next generation gets up to receive the blessing from their own Dads. Tradition is awe-inspiring.
The ancient blessing dates back to Jacob of the Bible. It means “May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe.” It’s a prayer expressing hope that children become role models for their people in years to come.
Ephraim and Menashe were doers of good deeds, and they led others by their example. Two thousand years later it’s still the greatest hope for our children; to do good deeds and lead wondrously by example.
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