May He Continue to Grow

We had a great time at Eliav’s birthday party yesterday in his Gan (nursery school). At the same time, neither Josh nor I seems to be able to get away from the memories that this particular class brings to us. Eliav is in the same classroom this year that Yehuda was in when he was four. And Yehuda shared his fourth birthday party, in the same exact space, with Chanan. It was Chanan’s last birthday, and the last picture that we have of him is of the two of them at their birthday party.

The memories are very powerful when we enter the same room, with the same birthday costumes, the same birthday songs and the same birthday atmosphere. It’s a bit overwhelming.

We’ve already had Amichai’s fourth birthday in the space, and I would have thought that we’d have moved beyond the memories by now. But, seeing Eliav sitting at the table where Yehuda and Chanan took their birthday picture certainly brought it all back.

What really struck me was the bracha (blessing) that one little girl gave to Eliav. During the birthday party, the teacher has the kids give the birthday boys brachot. It’s a lovely idea and one that I find very powerful. So, this little girl’s bracha to Eliav was that “he should continue to grow.” What a strange bracha, I thought to myself. She didn’t wish for him to continue to grow big and strong, or to continue to grow in ways of Torah learning, or to continue to grow into a great person. She simply wished for him to continue to grow. Period. End of bracha.


With Yom Kippur, the day of judgment, approaching in two days, and thoughts of Chanan in my head, her bracha gave me chills. Sometimes, it’s the most simple brachot – the most straightforward of wishes – that truly have the most power.

He should continue to grow.

May Hashem grant this wish for Eliav and for all of us this coming year so that we may continue to grow, to live, to thrive and to do our best with what we’ve been given.

He should continue to grow.


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