I have been told that on your birthday, you bless others...I know it's "only" my English birthday, but I would like to offer a blessing to the Jewish people - most especially those who think that Jews have the right to ascend to the Temple Mount in theory but that in practice, it would be "incendiary".
So, I bless the Jewish people with pride - pride in who we are and that we should never feel we have to hide from that reality.
I bless those of faint heart with courage to stand tall. I understand that for centuries we bent to the power of the winds against us. By lowering our heads and denying our rights, we thought we would better survive and perhaps that was yesterday's reality, yesterday's Jew.
I bless those who lean so far to the left, permanently curving their spines in servitude with the power to see beyond their narrow windows so that the Jewish spirit may soar once again. We have every right to do as all other nations, to live, to fight, to build, to be. They will never allow us, and so we need not seek their permission.
If a Christian can pray in Bethlehem's holiest churches, a Jew can pray in our holiest of places.
I bless our leaders with the fortitude to withstand; our soldiers with the power to defend. I bless our rabbis with compassion and perhaps equally with strength so that they can bring back the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and faith and bar all corruption and end any money-tinged decisions.
I bless the writers among us to use the power of words to promote the very equality upon which our society was created - and as you would fight for the right of the secular, fight for the right of the religious. As you would defend the rights of the left, remember that the right too should be granted these courtesies.
Remember that a Jew living in Ariel or Maale Adumim has the same rights as a Jew in Tel Aviv.
I bless the mothers among us that you always know joy from your children...even when things they do hurt you. They are, forever yours, even if at times they would have it otherwise.
I bless you to become mothers-in-law and grandmothers to the generations to come.
I bless the fathers among us that you too will only know joy from your children, even when they hurt you because they are forever yours as well. May you become fathers-in-law and grandfathers to the generations to come.
And I bless my children - all my children - with all the good things in life - love and health, safety and adventure. May you be blessed with many children, each a blessing.
So, blessings to you all in these last few minutes of my birthday...