It was a day to celebrate the youngest members of Temple Shalom. Last week, the congregation held its inaugural Blessing of the Babies.

“Celebrating with our families with newborns and young children was an awesome sight to behold,” Rabbi Andrew Paley says. “Recognizing the incredible gifts that children are for families in the context of their Temple Shalom family was especially sweet.  I believe the verses from 1 Samuel 27-28 were definitely on the lips and in the hearts of parents and grandparents who were present, ‘I prayed for this child, and God has granted me what I have asked.’ It was a powerful reminder of what community and family and Temple Shalom are all about.”

During the event, each child was blessed alongside a grandparent, when possible, to honor the multigenerational bond. Youngsters danced while members played music in honor of the celebratory day.

“Having the parents, grandparents and children all under the chuppah together for a blessing was really special,” Paley says. “If the chuppah represents a family’s home, then what I hoped would happen is for them to see that their home is connected to others who are sharing the same experience who are also connected to a community who cares about them. I prayed that we would be able to celebrate many happy occasions under a chuppah.”

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