A town wide event at Temple Rodeph Torah of Western Monmouth in Marlboro, New Jersey brought animal lovers together for a special celebration. The Blessing of the Animals celebration began with a gathering of pets and their owners seated before the Rabbi Donald Weber and Cantor Joanna Alexander. The Rabbi spoke of the love and bond between human and animal – “Our connections stretch back to creation and forward to a time when we may find our relationship free of domination and cruelty. We do not know how to measure the joy and spiritual well-being that animals, incapable of speech, provide for us, but we do know that their love is immeasurable and unconditional.”
Each of the blessings were done as individual prayers and songs for “God and Dog”, “Blessings for Cats”, “Blessings for Dogs” and “Blessings for All Animals.” Between songs of prayer and celebration, the Rabbi took special time to pray for the healing of sick animals and remembering animals that have died.
After the ceremony, neighbors, friends and families enjoyed snacks and refreshments beside a fire pit where children toasted marshmallows. The dogs were all wagging their tails and enjoying new friends.
President of the Temple, Larry Rosen, said this was the second year for The Blessing of the Animals and they will continue to celebrate this tradition annually.
-TaraJean McDonald Vitale