Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


Synagogue to Bless Animals

posted by Brad Hirschfield

In honor of Tu b’Shevat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat which coincides this year with January 20th, and is often called the Jewish Arbor day, Congregation Dor Hadash in San Diego California will hold a Blessing of the Animals ceremony.
blessing animals.jpg

Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to the Reconstructionist synagogue by noon Sunday, Jan. 9, where they will be blessed by Rabbi Yael Ridburg. Furred, winged and swimming creatures are all welcome — from cats to turtles.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, last year’s blessing ceremony included the audience responding: “May they never suffer from Ick, and may their fins and scales always sparkle in the light of your sunshine.”

And before people start scratching their heads, wondering where this came from, let’s be clear: this custom is not some recently-concocted attempt to be relevant, itself not a bad thing, but often a charge made by those suspicious of innovation. In fact, the Blessing of the Animals is a centuries-old tradition dating back to the time of St. Francis of Assisi, animal-loving Saint in the Catholic Church.
Of course, appreciating its roots may make some Jews even more uncomfortable than they would have been with something we made up on our own. But is anything really made up on its own?
All traditions, even those as old as the laws found in the Torah, are rooted in some larger cultural context. Think about everything from animal sacrifice to the tzitzit, the ritual fringes worn by many on their talitot (prayer shawls) and some on a kind of fringed ritual undershirt. The former was the dominant mode of all idolatrous worship in biblical antiquity, and the latter was a Jewish adaptation of the clothing worn by the priests of Egypt.
Having been to many Blessing of the Animals ceremonies at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and loving each one, I think Dor Hadash and its rabbi are to be congratulated for continuing the ancient tradition of sacred adaptation. My only regret is that I will not be in San Diego on the 20th!



  • romanscapegoat

    giving 10% of what you make to a church is one of the most ridiculous traditions…doesn’t sound like something god would want…giving everything you have to the poor does…NO ONE DOES ANYTHING THAT JESUS TAUGHT…religion is another term for LIES

  • Mr. Incredible, in Jesus’ Name

    There goes goat with more of his Mein Kampf-inspired blubberings.

  • romanscapegoat

    incredible jesus freak…i never know what words I’m going to write…my words come from god…god tells me we share the same spirit..we are one …that he feels existence through me..he is everything and everyone there is no free will …he is playing with himself…he says i have always been with him…everyone are my toys …he once told me to pick if i wanted to be Lucifer or Jesus to make a point to me…all that truly exist is me and him…

  • Mr. Incredible, in Jesus’ Name

    Goat says his words come from “god.” We need to know which one. We know it isn’t God cuz God, today, speaks through Christ. We know that, in order to tell who speaks the words of God speaks the Word of God. Jesus said that He says what He hears His Father say. We know that Jesus Christ is God’s beloved Son, and God tells us to receive Him through His Son. Goat says none of this. He repeats the Devil’s words, not God’s words. We can know this, thanks to 1 John 4:1.

  • Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

    Goat says:
    there is no free will…he once told me to pick…
    Mr. Incredible asks:
    Which is it?

  • Mr. Incredible, in Jesus’ Name

    Now, goat will say that the “fact,” as HE sees it, that god — still don’t know which one — told him to pick proves there’s no free Will.
    So, in other words, just cuz HE’s a robot, we must, in his view, also be robots. This is the way his “mind” works.
    The fact is, RE: goat, we are witness, on these pages, to the destruction of a mind.

  • romanscapegoat

    incredible jesus freak …how arrogant to believe you are separate from god…every thought you have doesn’t come from your existence…you only exist as god…the gas that came from your fart is god…

  • Gil

    Ladies and Gentlemen of this virtual jury – we have here an example of dialogue in the six preceding posts of two mentally challenged pathetic souls. I would hope that the Court finds the two defendants guilty of trespassing on the intelligence, and sanity of this esteemed forum. The processecution recommends remanding these two hooligans to a “mental tune-up” not to exceed ninety days – with supervision and probationary follow-up, if it please the Court.

  • Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

    Life is a circus, and Gil, goat and g are just the clown act.

  • Gil

    Typo correction – prosection. pardon me for the unnecessary “c,” and “s” redundancy. Speaking of unnecessary and redundant,Incred. comes to mind. The low down on this pest is that, and trust the unconscious,his use of the word “circus.” He is a seminary drop-out, caught in a “circus minimus” displaying his teratological unmentionables. The word “clown” would be a distortion of his behavior. Euphemism aside, he, and that other simpleton “goat” truly places an ignorant damper on this forum. This is one contagion that we all should avoid as the plague.

  • Gil

    Typo correction – prosecution for prosection. My unconscious thoughts were hovering around gross anatomy and my association to incred’s gross and crass display.

  • romanscapegoat

    gil…take a pill and chill try to keep it real…is that a deal

  • MH

    As far as the blog post goes. I’m not religious, but if I was, I would like the blessing of the animals. But that’s because dogs always seem pretty happy to me and their good mood is contagious.

  • MH

    Dogs also enjoy licking their butts, something we all can learn from. Save a tree, lick your butt clean.

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  • Gil

    Blessing animals – why not earth worms, and bees – without them we higher forms of the food chain would starve. Deeper thought and study would lead one to understand that the entire universe is miraculous. Every “blessed” thing has purpose. Why not turn multiplicity into unity. Bless everything. And yes there is war, pestilence, disease, car accidents,tyrrants, and “mothers in -laws.” You either take the good with the bad, or use your God given brain to attempt to repair the world. People are strange animals, we love parades, and silly rituals.

  • MH

    The second MH post at January 7, 2011 8:17 AM was not me.

  • Gil

    MH – It was obvious that the 8:17 AM post was none other than that goat who gets off on puerile anal-sadistic humor. He typifies ungulates who graze in the fields, and unwittingly injest Jimson weed or “loco weed” and go “poco loco in the coco.” I dare say it isn’t a transitory disorder.

  • romanscapegoat

    blessing animals for money…i doubt they do this for free…just as the catholics charge money to light candles…there is no such thing as a non profit organization…these tax free government funded corporations such as the salvation army pays their bills and salaries and bonuses before they fool people in volunteering to work for free to deliver the watered down donations …god bless America

  • Gil

    GOAT – DON’T BE JEALOUS BECAUSE THEY DON’T BLESS YOUR GENUS, NOR SPECIES. SORRY BUT COELENTERATES AND JACK ASSES ARE NOT INCLUDED. THROWBACKS JUST DO NOT PASS MUSTER.

  • romanscapegoat

    there is no need to ask god for his blessing… asking to be blessed implies god isn’t with you at all times…its another lie religion uses to control people into believing there are times when god is not with you and help is needed from thieves who have high positions in a fraternity of fools, who wear funny costumes….

  • MH

    So can I tell my spouse I love them once and I’ll let them know when anything has changes? No, people like ritual and repeating their statements, so I state my love for my spouse frequently.
    As an outsider I get the feeling that religious ritual works in a similar way.

  • Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

    At 3:50p, goat says, “god bless America.”
    At 1:50a, goat says, “there is no need to ask god for his blessing… asking to be blessed implies god isn’t with you at all times…”
    So, we’d like to know which it is. We’re willing to bet goat doesn’t know; he can’t keep track of his own posts.
    Inconsistency is the tipoff that the mind that produced it isn’t focused on the truth/Truth.

  • romanscapegoat

    incredible jesus freak…you have a relationship with the christian religion…not god…being a christian, you are not allow to think own your own…this is why things go over your head very easily…patriotism is useless drama politicians use to fool Americans to not question the evil acts that are committed by the democrats and republicans in office…Obama is the first president who tried to take power away from the banks and corporations that control the white house because he cares about the 98% of Americans…evil will always prevail in this world…this is why the republicans have giving control of the white house back to the banks and corporations thanks to the media programming Americans how to think…just as Christianity programs you how to think….and yes the jews are in control of everything…

  • Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

    goat says:
    …you have a relationship with the christian religion…
    Mr. Incredible says:
    Christianity isn’t a “religion.” Judaism is. Catholicism is. Islam is. They think that following rules and standing on ceremony are the way to Heaven. Of course, they are not cuz you they cannot do enough to earn their way.
    goat says:
    …not god…
    Mr. Incredible says:
    It’s true that I have no relationship with “god.” I have relationship with God. You finally get it.
    The rest of your post is what you picked up after fishing for your own “rats” in your toilet.

  • Mr. Incredible, in Jesus’ Name

    I have a relationship with God through Christ. You don’t. You should be happy. Instead, you are miserable. “Miserable” is the kind word for it.

  • romanscapegoat

    incredible jesus freak…your ignorance gives you a false sense of security…most women are in your position…women are excused from searching for truth…your not…but then again, what color panties do you wear…

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/windowsanddoors/2011/01/synagogue-to-bless-animals.html?source=NEWSLETTER&nlsource=12&ppc=&utm_campaign=Jewish&utm_source=NL&utm_medium=newsletter&utm Carolyn Gold

    When my husband took his guide dog to Friday night services for the first time, the Rabbi asked a number of questions, and then asked if he and the congregation might say a blessing for the dog. Of course my husband gave his permission freely. He said a lovely blessing, and Mascot seemed to know something special was happening, for he stood at attention and looked at everyone. It was one of the most delightful moments of an always-enjoyable Friday night service.
    I am sorry to say the Rabbi’s replacement was not so welcoming, and eventually we moved to another congregation with a Rabbi who is good-natured and loved by the congregation.
    Gavriella

  • romanscapegoat

    incredible jesus freak…it is your evil religion that justifies shooting the congress woman in Arizona…so many backwards hillbilly Christians are very happy today….all fueled by the christian Sarah palin…GOD BLESS AMERICA…

  • Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

    Goat is an idiot. Surprise, surprise.

  • romanscapegoat

    all of the Jewish owned media is spreading the same message when dealing with the shooting in Arizona…there is no freedom of the press in America…the news in America is not free…the news in America is under a dictatorship…dictatorship of the Jews…why is every channel on TV repeating the same message….which is the shooting is bad but has nothing to do with politics….every one who works for the Jewish owned media is feeling ashamed for spreading the Jew dictated greed based propaganda to make sure the Jew owned banks and corporations stay unregulated….but greed hate and selfishness is everything that is normal in the world and will brighting the day again …god bless america

  • Mark S.

    Romanscapegoat… too bad your parents didn’t love you. The world owes you nothing. You rantings are an embarrasment… to others of your ilk. We are about love… not hate and stupidity. Enlighten your self and perhaps you won’t find it nescessarry to post hateful thoughts. If that’s all you have, I feel sorry for you and I will pray that you get better.
    It’s nice to be important… it’s more important to be nice.
    Negativity is the child of fear and ignorance.
    Blessings to you and all in 2011.

  • romanscapegoat

    mark…there is no love in Christianity…or any other religion…don’t fool yourself…you ignorant hillbilly tea bagger

  • romanscapegoat

    mark…i know your not jewish because a jew makes a point of letting everyone know they are jewish…ill pray for you …our thoughts and prayers are with you, empty phrases from a selfish heart who is closer to their own hate and greed than god…you backwards hillbilly Christians are the worst of all at using god to hurt others…i just heard a country song today that was talking about jesus and soldiers killing for America…you hillbillys are the worst kind of Christians..

  • romanscapegoat

    incredible jesus freak…the shooter in Arizona had a favorite book…it was the one you accused me of knowing about…mien kampf..there is no free will god is everyone and everything…he is playing with himself…

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