Rav Avigdor Miller on Friday Night Blessings

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 Q:
When a father is blessing his children on Friday night, what should he have in mind? And also, what should the child who is receiving the blessing have in mind? 

A:
A bracha is said by the parents because they love their children. So you’re saying it b’lev shaleim, with a full heart. And therefore Hakadosh Baruch Hu listens. He listens because it’s being said with more kavanah. A bracha of a parent is more sincere. Birchas av, barcheini avi. A father’s bracha is more genuine than a stranger’s bracha and therefore it’s very important.

Of course, you could always add even more kavanah. And what’s the most important thought you should add? You have to know that it’s not your bracha; it’s the bracha of Hashem that you’re asking for. You’re asking Hashem, “Please Hashem, bless my children they should all be well and live long; they should all be tzadikim; all should have the best shidduchim; all should be talmidei chachamim or the wives of talmidei chachamim; all should be healthy and they should have the most beautiful children; and after a long life, after 120 years, they should all be to go to Olam Habah.” You want to add the last one? You can add it, there’s no harm.

Now, what should the children think? Your children think, “Ribono Shel Olam, I don’t know what my father is thinking, but I’m thinking all these kavanos.” So the child puts all the kavonos, all these thoughts, into his father’s words – and Hakodosh Boruch Hu is listening to his thoughts as well.
TAPE # E-44 (December 1995)