Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stunned many last December when he posted an online message that seemed to indicate that he had abandoned atheism.
And he gave that discussion new life on Thursday when he revealed the prayer he sings to his daughter every night before bedtime.
It was during Zuckerberg’s commencement address at Harvard University that he shared a Jewish prayer called the “Mi Shebeirach” — an invocation that he said he recites as he copes with major challenges in life and also when he tucks his child in at night, the Washington Post reported.
“Before you walk out those gates one last time, as we sit in front of Memorial Church, I am reminded of a prayer, ‘Mi Shebeirach,’ that I say whenever I face a challenge, that I sing to my daughter thinking about her future when I tuck her into bed,” Zuckerberg told Harvard graduates as he closed out his address. “It goes: ‘May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.’ I hope you find the courage to make your life a blessing.”
The version of the prayer that Zuckerberg shared was written by Jewish musician Debbie Friedman; it is a rendition that is used today in many synagogues, with the invocation being sung after the names of the ill are read aloud, according to the Post.
While this was the only moment that Zuckerberg mentioned themes pertaining to God and prayer, he encouraged graduates to focus on the importance of “purpose,” proclaiming that discovering one’s own purpose in life simply isn’t enough.
“The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose,” Zuckerberg said. “Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”
Read the commencement address in its entirety here.
As Faithwire previously reported, Zuckerberg made headlines in December when he posted a message indicating that he had abandoned atheism. The comment came after someone posted on his page, asking if he’s an atheist.
“No, I was raised Jewish, and then I went through a period where I questioned things,” he said. “But now I believe religion is very important.”
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