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Bellybutton Prayer

A blessing for connection

My daughter, Anna Schnur-Fishman, wrote this prayer to conclude my 70th birthday party, which was a Zoom event for my closest girlfriends and their navels. In the post-Zoom world, you can say this prayer in a circle while touching the navel of the person on your right. — S.S.


Take one hand and put it on your bellybutton. Take your other hand and connect it to one of the bellybuttons on screen.

Creator of the Universe. Bless us all with connection. Help us accept that we can’t do it alone, that even when we felt we did it alone, we probably didn’t. There is always another who feeds us and helps us get rid of our waste, so to speak … a mother, a friend, God, an ancestor, a role model, a sibling.

Ha’Shekhina b’kirbeinu. Shekhina, you dwell within us, among us. You are the best version of the space in between us, where we reach out for help, offer help, where we create hurts and work together to repair them.

Bless us with a love of interdependence, comfort with giving and taking according to what we have and need at every age. Surround us with people who remind us what we have to give. Bless us as we climb up the umbilical cord of our species, never able to see more than a few generations before or after ourselves, but knowing others trod this ground and will tread it after us.

Bless us with connectedness to the dead and the living and not-yet-living. Bless us with the warm lap of a kind Goddess. Bless us right here, on the cutest of all our scars, and right here, on the pads of our fingers that we use to dial phones, tap out emails, and write postcards.

And let us say, Amen.