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Ritual Blessings for the COVID-19 Vaccination

12/30/2020 01:00:57 PM

Dec30

Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,
What a strange moment in time. The pandemic is still raging and the vaccine is becoming available. On one hand, we are seeing photos and videos of leaders, medical professionals, friends, and relatives receiving the vaccine. On the other hand, the infection rate, hospitalization, and death toll continue to rise. Life and death are in our hands.

Judaism can help us contextualize this moment. Judaism, like Zen Buddhism, praises darkness and light. Every moment is filled with opportunity for blessing and curse. We partner with God to promulgate as much blessing as humanly possible. Let us sanctify the moment of vaccination in which we protect ourselves and each other.

In that light, here are some blessings I plan to recite, gathered from a variety of sources, with special thanks to my colleague Rabbi Gelman for his inspired rabbinic leadership.

Blessings for health and patience and love,
Rabbi Teller

מִזְמוֹר לְתוֹדָה הָרִֽיעוּ לַיהוָֹה כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ: עִבְדוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה בְּשִׂמְחָה בֹּֽאוּ לְפָנָיו בִּרְנָנָה: דְּעוּ כִּי־יְהֹוָה הוּא אֱלֹהִים הוּא עָשָֽׂנוּ וְלֹא אֲנַֽחְנוּ עַמּוֹ וְצֹאן מַרְעִיתוֹ: בֹּֽאוּ שְׁעָרָיו בְּתוֹדָה חֲצֵרֹתָיו בִּתְהִלָּה הֽוֹדוּ לוֹ בָּרְ֒כוּ שְׁמוֹ: כִּי־טוֹב יְהֹוָה לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ וְעַד־דֹּר וָדֹר אֱמוּנָתוֹ
A song of gratitude. Join in praise with all the earth. Do God’s work with joy and gladness. As we give thanks, we acknowledge that God is our Source of Blessing. Let’s enter into God’s presence, singing our own joyful, unique song in grateful appreciation of life, sustenance and blessing. Thank you God--You are all blessing. We pray that our faith, joy, and sacred sense of belonging will also guide the next generation after us.

By Rabbi Naomi Levy:
I have been praying for this day and now it is here!
With great excitement, a touch of trepidation
And with deep gratitude
I give thanks
To all the scientists who toiled day and night
So that I might receive this tiny vaccination
That will protect me and all souls around this world.
With the pandemic still raging
I am blessed to do my part to defeat it.
Let this be the beginning of a new day,
A new time of hope, of joy, of freedom
And most of all, of health.
I thank You, God, for blessing me with life
For sustaining my life
And for enabling me to reach this awe-filled moment.
Amen

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵיטִיב
Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha-olam, ha-tov v'hameiytiv.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Source of All, who is good and bestows goodness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה
Barukh atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha-olam sh’hchiyanu e vi-kimanu vi-higiyanu la-z'man ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai,  our God, Source of All, who has given us life, sustained us, and helped us reach this moment.

Mon, March 8 2021 24 Adar 5781