The Out-Blessing Game


Trying to out-bless people is much more fun than trying to outguess them. For this reason, I give you: The Out Blessing Game.

Get in pairs. Put your hands on each other's heads. Take turns out-blessing each other. Continue until you both feel truly blessed or have had enough of this loving silliness.

A round of out blessing might go like this:

Out-Blessing Starters

Here are some out-blessing starters, to help you get, well, started:



When my wonderful friend Zalman and his amazing wife were last in town, we arranged to meet in West LA for some hugs and Indian food. After dinner he and I and our delicious wives (Rocky, mine, Eve, his) were almost actually accosted by a briefcase carrying, suit-wearing man wielding a paperback book. Being the warm and terminally polite people we like to be, we were immediately subjected to a sales pitch of stunning complexity and only minimal coherence. He had written and published a book proving that Abraham's little-known wife Keturah was the progenitor of most of the civilized world and Denmark (something about the tribe of Dan).

Now, Zalman is a biblical scholar of great depth and high repute. When the bookseller asked rhetorically, "and, how many people know who Abraham's other wife was?" Zalman answered his question immediately. And yet never once in his entire monologue did the impassioned author deign to find out with whom he was actually speaking.

At the end of the pitch, the guy explained to us that he was going to offer us a very special opportunity. That for $20 dollars, he'd not only sell us his book, but sign it, personally.

"All right," said Zalman, "I'll make you a bargain. I'll buy your book, but I want something extra."

"Of course," replied the self-proclaimed proclaimer, "I'll be happy to dedicate it to you or any person of your choosing."

"Thank you," said Zalman, "but I want something else. Something even more special. I want your blessing."

The fact is, I don't remember what the blessing was. But I do remember how Zalman, with his simple request, transformed this whole somewhat seamy encounter into a profundly moving spiritual experience.

From that day on, I've made the Out-Blessing Game an integral part of my work.

Here are a few sources for more out-blessings and out-toasts: