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 Michael and cupping the latter's head.

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?

  • 1
    Poor Ginsberg - I hope he turns out OK in the next season...
    – Gary
    Jun 27, 2014 at 19:37
  • @Gary I'm afraid the **pple incident was his swan song.
    – jub0bs
    Jun 27, 2014 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    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, 2014 at 19:50

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