Whereas in the Book of Genesis the animals of the land, sea and sky were created prior to the creation of human beings;
And whereas each species of these animals entered Noah’s Ark – two by two – and were thus saved from the great flood. (This no doubt included Labradoodles.)
And whereas in the Book Numbers a wise talking donkey scolded his abusive rider, who happened to be a prophet;
And whereas King Solomon’s wisdom included an ability to speak with animals;
And whereas a gigantic fish swallowed and saved the prophet Jonah, even though it could have chewed, chomped and killed him;
And whereas the Sages of our tradition legislated that we feed our animals each morning before feeding ourselves;
And whereas Talmud records that the ailments of the great Rabbi Yehuda ha’Nasi were caused by his indifference to the suffering of a calf;
And whereas the same great sage was relieved of his ailments only when he demonstrated true compassion for a few baby weasels;
And whereas our halakhah contains a body of laws called tzaar baalei chayimthat demand that we refrain from causing harm to animals,
We therefore determine that our beloved pets, assembled here today and so well behaved, deserve the following blessing:
Dear God, Creator of all living creatures:
Thank you for creating a universe that includes animals that become members of our households and of our very families;
Thank you, God, especially for our dogs (and cats)
who greet us warmly even when others are indifferent to us;
who calm us down when we are anxious;
who make us smile when we are grumpy;
who play with us when we should be working;
who compel us to get good exercise by demanding frequent walks so they do not go on the rug;
and who are so extremely cute.
We commit ourselves to care for these animal members of our homes with love and with compassion as demanded by Jewish tradition.
And we invoke your blessing, O God, upon these animals and upon their owners.
(Please place your hands upon your animals.)
Yivarech’cha H’ va’yishm’reicha.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Yisa H’ panav eilecha vichuneika.
May the Lord’s countenance shine upon and be gracious unto you.
Yisa H’ panav eilecha v’yaseim lecha shalom.
May the Lord’s countenance turn toward you and grant you peace.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill