There’s a change of pace in November, when suddenly we walk more quickly down the sidewalks, more intent on our destination. The wind blows colder outside as we sit in the warmth, bookmarking Thanksgiving recipes or booking flights back home for a holiday feast. One brief November moment, and Chanukah seems to be right around the corner. It’s a season of homeyness (a real word!), a season for turning inward, making things cozy. It’s a season of miracles and gathering, of gratitude and coming home.
Is there a blessing for coming home? Some text to inspire us, to guide us as we create a welcoming and warm space for the people we love? We looked high and low, but kept coming back to this genre of modern Hebrew poetry: Birkat HaBayit, the Home Blessing. There are so many lovely variations:
“May this home blossom with love and learning. May those who dwell within treasure goodness and generosity. May comfort and compassion enfold all who cross this threshold.”
.בזה השער לא יבוא צער
.בזאת הדירה לא תבוא צרה
.בזאת הדלת לא תבוא בהלה
.בזאת המחלקה לא תבוא מחלוקת
.בזה המקום תהי ברכה ושלום
“May only delight come through this gate. May only love come to this dwelling. May only friendship come through this door. May only comfort be in this place. Let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace.”
And even more. In our inventory alone we found at least three versions! And that’s the beauty of it. There is a blessing for every home, for every gathering. But there are themes that they all share.
Home is a place of comfort, where you know you are always welcome. It’s a place to settle into, to stay a while, while the worries of the outside world can wait another day. Home is for contentment and love, for generosity and graciousness.
This time of year, whether we are preparing to welcome far-flung relatives or crafting place cards for an annual Friendsgiving dinner, we can take a moment to reflect on the kind of environment we hope to create. In a world of discord, how can we create harmony and encourage compassion? When it’s cold outside, how can we make home a place of warmth and kindness? What is it about a place that encourages us to blossom, to become our best selves?
We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Meanwhile, happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Kolbo. We wish you a beautiful beginning to a light-filled season.
In the spirit of making home a place of comfort and nourishment for those in need, Kolbo is excited to announce Community Servings from Pie in the Sky as our Thanksgiving tzedakah recommendation. This organization is a fan favorite here at Kolbo, and many of our employees have donated to Pie in the Sky for years.
Community Servings prepares and delivers delicious, medically-tailored meals to 2,000 homebound individuals and families in 20 Massachusetts communities each year. When you buy a pie this Thanksgiving, Community Servings is able to feed a client for a week. As you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, please remember that a sick neighbor is also eating today, thanks to your generosity!