Blessings for Giving Blood

November 2, 2010 | By

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Judaism has a lot of blessings–not just to say over bread or Shabbat candles, but also when you see strange-looking people or animals.

But blessings don’t come in limited editions: No matter how many you recite, you can always say another one. The book On the Doorposts of Your House, a compendium of prayers for all occasions, includes new Jewish blessings for life events not covered by the traditional liturgy. There’s one blessing to recite upon reaching “the age of civic responsibility” (being able to vote, that is) and another blessing to recite, yes, before donating blood:

Baruch eloheinu asher natan lanu
Praised be our God who gives us

may-chachmato v’hishpiah aleinu laazor livnay adam
wisdom and encourages us to help others

b’orach chayeinu v’af motaynu.
by our way of living, and in our dying.
It’s a very cool idea–not just because giving blood saves lives, but also because saying this blessing and others encourages us to see all sorts of things we do as spiritual acts.

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