To offer you a blessing as you stand at the edge of time,
The foot of grand mountains,
facing adventures in the unknown—
this is the stuff of honor and humility,
of pride and hope and love.
As the adults who have loved you and watch you grow, please forgive us:
Yes, we are so proud of who you are and who you are becoming.
And, to tell the truth, we’re a little bit scared,
because this moment is the ultimate letting go,
an acknowledgement that you are adults now,
and the illusion that we could cradle you from life’s pain and
tuck you in safely to protect you from monsters
both real and imagined exists no more.
We have tried to teach you well:
Rules and self-confidence,
blessings and guidelines,
ethics and spiritual integrity.
A love for yourself,
Compassion for the stranger,
Dignity for all of God’s grand creation.
We have smiled as you've grown:
when you play your loud music and
text and Facebook and Tweet,
and call your rabbis “Gleeks”
when you color your hair like the rainbow of the covenant
and then shape it in ways that occasionally make us blush
or pierce parts of your body that make us cringe—
or, heaven forbid, sport a tattoo;
For the tenderness you have shown one another at moments of public grief
and searing private anguish;
for the promise you show us today, we pray:
Keep your minds open, your hearts trusting,
your vision of a world where every individual is valued and honored and respected.
For each of you, we are grateful.
Try to understand our tears as we let you go.
We do trust you, we respect you, and we value who you are.
And we see in your eyes the possibilities that rest in our hearts,
the promise of the world as it unfolds before you.
You go forth and walk on the paths you will choose for yourselves.
The road might be well worn,
but it is the first time your feet tread across this space and time.
We pray you are never afraid,
and that you care for each other and the widow, the orphan, the stranger and the poor.
Continue, we pray, to seek out wisdom and understand your holy purpose;
Love your minds and your bodies—
Your creation is beautiful and wonderful and fabulous;
Take risks, but do not suffer fools gladly.
Seek out the music to your own song;
Keep your hearts open to discover love;
When your soul aches, reach for one another.
Know, we pray,
Wherever you go in the world,
Should you climb 1,000 mountains or wander through 1,000 valleys below,
or discover some new path never before known,
When the time comes for you to return,
We are here,
We adore you, and
We will always welcome you home.