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In the second last scene of episode 5x03 of Mad Men, Michael Ginsberg (one of the Jewish characters on the show) comes back home from the grocer's to be greeted by his dad. The latter encourages Michael to

get girls; an old one and a young one.

and ends up uttering/singing what appears to be a prayer/chant while facing his son and holding Michael's head between his hands.

Still image from the show referenced above, as described above.

I can't understand that bit, because I know no Hebrew. What is Michael's dad saying at that moment? Is it related to his son being single or not enjoying life enough?

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Poor Ginsberg - I hope he turns out OK in the next season... –  Gary Jun 27 '14 at 19:37
@Gary I'm afraid the **pple incident was his swan song. –  Jubobs Jun 27 '14 at 19:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

He is reciting Numbers 6:24-26 (he only gets through half of the last verse in that clip):

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee;

The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;

The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

This is known as the Priestly Blessing and it is sometimes used when parents bless their children.

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Great. Thank you! –  Jubobs Jun 26 '14 at 18:51
The placing of the hands is a custom which originates from Jacob's blessing to Joseph's children Ephraim and Menashe prior to Jacob's death. –  DanF Jun 26 '14 at 19:50
@DanF Thanks for that :) –  Jubobs Jun 26 '14 at 20:31

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