10 Jewish blessings for summer

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The first day of summer in 2022 is Tuesday, June 21. More precisely, the astronomical summer will begin at 5:14 a.m. Eastern Time, marking the 2022 summer solstice.

This is the exact moment when the North Pole tilts closest to the sun, making the sun appear at its highest point in the sky.

Here is a collection of Jewish blessings to help you get into the summer spirit as the days get warmer, longer and sunnier.

The blessing for firsts (Shehecheyanu)

The Shehecheyanu is recited the first time you do something each Jewish calendar year and to mark joyous occasions.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.

A blessing for summer

For the lengthening of days, stretching sunshine far past its winter bedtime,

For the bright blues and vibrant green and pops of color filling the warm world,

For the unrelenting humidity that reminds us to savor the sweetness of cooler breezes,

For all the sounds of summer – the jingling of ice cream trucks, joyful shouts of children splashing, lingering laughter over meals shared on patios, the shuddering clap of thunderstorms demonstrating something more powerful than us,

For summer camps and vacations and time spent outside,

For good AC when we’re stuck indoors,

For sun,

For shade,

For all these things and more, we thank You.

And may God bless and keep the mosquitoes… far away from us.

Amen.

-Beth Kander-Dauphin (Written for My Jewish Learning)

The blessing over seasons

So long as the earth endures,

Seedtime and harvest,

Cold and heat,

Summer and winter,

Day and night

Shall not cease.”

Genesis 8:22

Blessing over the sun

(Photo: Getty Images)

The Birkat Hachamah is perhaps the rarest blessing in all of Judaism. It is recited only once every 28 years, when the sun is at a precise spot in the sky that replicates the spot some Jewish people believe it was in when created. The blessing is the same as said upon seeing other natural wonders.

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe, who makes the works of creation.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, oseh maasei v’reishit.

Blessing for going off to summer camp

(Photo: Getty Images)

Every year we venture back to the place we were before

And though our lives may differ we share a bond forever more

All year we sit in classrooms and we have to wonder why

Our summers are so special at [Summer Camp Name]

May it be Your will, Eternal our God, that you depart on your way to camp in peace and may your steps be guided in the way of peace.

May you find learning and growth along the way, may you make new friends, renew old friendships, and learn more about yourself.

May the mosquitoes be guided away from you, and may the raindrops not fall into your cabin or tent.

May the food be delicious and the pool the right temperature, and may you seek out new experiences and try new things.

May you return home in one piece with all your belongings, and may you ever yearn to return to the land of summer camp.

And let us say: Amen.

From the URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) Camp Song via Reform Judaism.

Blessing over the Sea

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, ruler of the cosmos, who has made the great sea.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה אֶת הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל

Baruch ata Adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam she’asa et hayam hagadol.

Blessing over beauty

This can apply to beauty in all its forms and interpretations. Beautiful trees, animals or people alike.

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe, that such as these are in Your world.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעולָם שככה לו בעולמו

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, shekacha lo beolamo.

Spending time outdoors

(Courtesy: Getty Images)

Master of the Universe, grant me the ability to be alone

May it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and the grasses, among all growing things and there may I be alone and enter into prayer to talk with the one that I belong to. 

Know that every shepherd and shepherdess has a unique nigun (melody) for each of the grasses and for each place where they herd. 

For each and every grass has its own song and from these songs of the grasses the shepherds compose their songs.

– Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, Lekutai Moharan Tanina 63

Blessing over seeing wonders of nature such as mountains, deserts, lightning, and the sky

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe, who makes the works of creation.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, oseh maasei v’reishit.

Blessing over a Rainbow

A rainbow appears over the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on February 24, 2012. (Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

After the flood, God promised Noah that He would never again bring a flood that would destroy the world. A rainbow is a reminder of this covenant that God made with Noah, his descendants, and all living creatures. 

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who remembers the covenant, and is faithful to His covenant, and keeps His promise.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam zocher ha’brit v’ne’eman bivrito v’kayam b’ma’amaro.