An Unpacking of Baruch She-P’tarani

Please help our son to heed the kindness and integrity that You have placed in his heart and to use the deliberation and reason that You have placed in his mind.

File Under: Jewish

Editors NoteBaruch She-P’tarani is a blessing said by a father to a son who is becoming bar mitzvah.
Below is Yossi Fendel’s “unpacked version” of the blessing that he gave to his son on the occasion of his thirteenth birthday.

Baruch She-P’tarani… ברוך שפטרני מעונשו של זה

God,

Humanity will always remain Your children, no matter how sophisticated and self-reliant we imagine ourselves to be.

You anticipate the mistakes Your children make, and You suffer alongside us when we stumble.

Your agonizing personal struggle between self-restraint and intervention on behalf of Your children is recounted in Your Torah.

And You are indicted daily for the faults of Your children whom You created in Your image.
O Parent of parents,

Please help our son to heed the kindness and integrity that You have placed in his heart and to use the deliberation and reason that You have placed in his mind.

Please help me to provide my son the freedom he needs to be a person separate from me.

And please help our community to foster our son’s independence, to assign him – and not me – blame for his failings, and to assign him – and not me – credit for his virtues.

ברוך שפטרני מעונשו של זה
Praise be to God, who entrusts children with responsibility.

Yossi Fendel

Yossi Fendel

Yossi Fendel is an author and father