JUDAISM IN
YOUR HOME

House

Meaningfully enact Judaism in your life - incorporate the rituals and observances that profoundly connect you to your faith.

Hang a mezuzah

Background

It is a tradition to attach a mezuzah to the front door of a Jewish home, and then recite the blessing below. This is often done as part of brief ceremony that blesses the home, with family and friends present.

 

The mezuzah is attached to any doorpost of your home - typically the front door - on the right side as you enter. It is positioned on the upper third of the doorpost, with the top of the mezuzah angled in toward the inside of the home. This is the Ashkenazic (Eastern European) tradition, which is used by most Jewish households in the United States. The Sephardic (Mediterranean) tradition is to attach the mezuzah vertically

Blessing

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשַׁנוּ בְּמִצְו‌ֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לִקְבּוֹעַ מְזוּזָה

 

Bah-ruch ah-tah Adonai Eh-lo-hei-nu meh-lech hah-o-lam, ah-sher ki-d'shah-nu b'mitz-vo-tav v'tzee- vah-nu leek-bo-ah meh-zu-zah.

 

Blessed is the Eternal God, who commands us to place the mezuzah on the doorpost of our home.

RRJ Booklet Project

So you’ve hung your mezuzah - what’s next? A Time to Share features blessings, readings, and prayers to bring even more meaningful and accessible Jewish ritual and practice into your home and daily life.

A Time to Share
Bless your child

Background

Offering a blessing for your children is a wonderful tradition to incorporate into your Shabbat observance. Typically the Priestly Blessing is recited - we’ve included that text as well as some alternate options below.

Blessing

יְבָרֶכְךָ יְיָ וְיִשְׁמְרֶֽךָ

Y’vah-re-ch’cha Adonai v’yeesh-m’re-chah.

May God bless you and keep you.


יָאֵר יְיָ פָּנָיו אֵלֶֽיךָ וִיחֻנֶּֽךָּ

Yah-ayr Adonai pah-nav ay-leh-chah vee-chu-ne-kah.

May God’s comforting presence be with you.


יִשָׂא יְיָ פָּנָיו אֵלֶֽיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם

Y’-sah Adonai pah-nav ay-le-chah v’yah-sem l’chah sha-lom.

May God look upon you with favor and grant you peace.

May God bless you and keep you.
Be compassionate with your words, just and loving in your deeds.
A precious heritage has been entrusted to you.
Guard it well.

יְהִיֶה דָרְכְּךָ מְבוֹרָךְ

Y’hee-yeh dar-ke-chah m’vo-rahch.

May your way be blessed.


יָאֵר עָלֶךָ אוֹר הַחָכְמָה
Yah-ayr ah-leh-chah or hah-choch-mah.
May wisdom’s light shine upon you.

 

יְתֵן לְךָ מָסַעֲךָ שָלוּם
Y’ten l’chah mah-sah-ah-chah Shalom.
May your journey bring you peace and happiness.

Prayer for healing

Background

The Mi Shebeirach is the central Jewish prayer for physical, spiritual, and emotional healing. The most popular interpretation of this blessing was written by celebrated Jewish music composer Debbie Friedman, z’l. Listen and follow along with the lyrics below.

Blessing

Mi Shebeirach ah-vo-tay-nu,
M'kor hah-b'rah-chah l'i-mo-tay-nu,

May the Source of strength
who blessed the ones before us
Help us find the courage
to make our lives a blessing
And let us say: Amen.

Mi Shebeirach i-mo-tay-nu
M'kor hah-b'rah-chah l'ah-vo-tay-nu

Bless those in need of healing
with r'fu-ah sh'lay-mah,
The renewal of body,
the renewal of spirit,
And let us say: Amen.

Mourning the loss of a loved one

Reflections

We are often speechless when we lose a loved one. Our hearts are broken and tears often fill our eyes. Yet, reading and hearing words that we feel but cannot say, is often comforting.

RRJ Booklet Project

Offering prayers and readings for strength and solace in times of loss (A Time to Comfort - coming soon...) as well as a Shiva service you can lead for your family (A Time to Mourn), the RRJ Booklet Project is here for you as you navigate your grief.

Readings

A Time to Mourn

For Everything There is a Season (Ecclesiastes 3)
For everything there is a season, a time for every experience under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted;
A time to tear down and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to grieve and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

A time to seek and a time to lose,
A time to keep and a time to discard;
At time to reap and a time to sow,
A time to keep silent and a time to speak.

In Grateful Remembrance
In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we will remember her/him.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we will remember her/him.

In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we will remember her/him.

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we will remember her/him.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we will remember her/him.

 

When we are weary and in need of strength, we will remember her/him.

When we are lost and sick at heart, we will remember her/him.

When we have joys we want to share, we will remember her/him.

 

As long as we live, she/he too will live. She/he will always be a part of us as we remember her/him.

Mourner's Kaddish

Light the Chanukah Candles

Background

Around 168 BCE, a tyrant ruler named Antiochus IV outlawed the practice of Judaism and ordered his soldiers to desecrate the Temple by erecting an idol of a Greek God and demanding that our people bow down to it. One Jewish family, the Maccabees refused, sparking the beginning of a fierce civil war.

 

The Jewish resistance fighters were far outnumbered, yet the Maccabees and their followers prevailed. The Maccabees re-entered their temple and relit the eternal light as their first act to reclaim their Temple and to celebrate their freedom to practice their faith once again.

 

As the legend goes, when the Maccabees relit the eternal light, there was only enough oil to keep it burning for one day. Yet, the oil miraculously lasted for eight nights, just long enough for a new supply of oil to arrive. We celebrate this festival of religious freedom by retelling the story and by lighting the Chanukah candles while reciting the blessings below.

Learn more about Chanukah customs, find latke recipes, and sing along to holiday favorites on ReformJudaism.org »

Blessings

...now "rock out" to a Chanukah classic with the band Barenaked Ladies!

RRJ Booklet Project

So your Chanukah candles are lit - what’s next? A Time to Share features blessings, readings, and prayers to bring even more meaningful and accessible Jewish ritual and practice into your home and daily life.

A Time to Share
Lead a Passover seder

Reflections

When you think Passover, you think Seder. Recognized as the most widely observed tradition in the Jewish world today, we come together with family and friends to celebrate our freedom and retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The Haggadah leads us step-by-step through the order of the Seder and story of our journey from slaves in Egypt to a free people in the land of Israel.

Resources

The New Union Haggadah is a modern and thoughtful update of the classic Union Haggadah. In the spirit of our foundational Reform principles and practice, the text and supplemental reflections and explanations are accessible and relevant for today's Seder table. The New Union Haggadah is primarily an English language experience with transliteration provided for all of the major Hebrew readings. Hoping for a spontaneous holiday sing along? You'll find all your Passover favorites are included as well. Purchase your copies now and lead your Seder like a pro!

 

Fun Fact: The original Union Haggadah was published in the early 20th Century in the hopes of inspiring a revival of the in-home Seder. It worked!

 

While we would of course love for you to use the New Union Haggadah at your Seder, we encourage you to choose one that speaks to you and, considering things like age ranges and familiarity with the holiday, is a good fit for your guests.

 

Other helpful resources:

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