It is a custom for fathers to bless their children the evening of the holidays with the blessing that G-d commanded the kohanim (priests) to give. The blessing is: “G-d bless you and guard you. G-d make His countenance shine upon you and be gracious to you. G-d turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace.”[i]
One of the things that I enjoy doing at the Kotel is helping fathers bless their sons. Since the religious fathers already know to bless their children, I aim for the nonreligious ones. I have the father put his right hand on his son’s head and say the blessing out loud. After the blessing, I ask the father what he wants G-d to give his son. When he finishes his list of blessings, I ask, “Tell me. Is he a good boy?” They always smile and say something like, “the best!” or “Gold!” Often this little “ceremony” brings tears to the fathers’ eyes. I love it. It is an opportunity for the fathers to express their love for their sons. They love to do it, and their sons love it, too.
Yesterday, one father reached into his pocket to give me some change. Apparently, he thought that I was doing it for a donation. I pushed his arm away and said, “I don’t want your money.” He smiled. Then, I quickly added, “I want your son!” He kissed the tips of his fingers, and blew the kiss to me.
Look at this video. You’ll like it…
[i] Numbers 6:24