Performed in the synagogue, the Priestly Blessing is one of the most spiritually uplifting moments in Jewish life, as the entire congregation is embraced in a “divine hug.” Yeesa Adonai panav elecha viyasem Yesterday we talked about the fascinating structure of the priestly blessing and today we will discuss the Hebrew meaning of the words it contains. There are different tunes for this chant in different communities. Warren M. Marcus pronounces the Amplified Hebrew-to-English Translation of the “Ancient Priestly Prayer of the Blessing” over you in the name of the New Covenant High Priest YESHUA (Jesus). If there are more than one Kohen performing the blessings then they wait until someone in the congregation calls out "Kohanim" before starting the blessing over performing the blessings; the hazzan then continues the procedure. The text of the blessing is found in Numbers 6:23–27. On fast days other than Yom Kippur, it is performed at Mincha, if said in the late afternoon. In some Jewish communities, it is customary for the Kohanim to raise their hands and recite an extended musical chant without words before reciting the last word of each phrase. In many communities, it is customary for congregants to spread their, A tradition common among Ashkenazim rests on the basis that during the recital of this blessing the, In the case where no Kohanim are present in the synagogue (but there still is a, The text of the Priestly Blessing is also used by Jewish parents to bless their children on Friday night before the. The rabbis softened this prohibition by saying that a Kohen with disfigured hands to which the community had become accustomed could bless. It must be remembered that the subject of the priestly blessing is the LORD (יהוה); He (alone) is the One who does the blessing, and even under the older covenant the sons of Aaron merely transmitted or conveyed God's blessing to the people. It is common for whoever is reciting the blessing to make their hands resemble the Hebrew letter shin representing one of the Hebrew word (Shim) of the word – Shaddai. The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; … יְשִׂימְךָ אֱלֹהיִם כְּאֶפְרַיְם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה The use of a platform is implied in Leviticus 9:22. Blessings Book with Audio CD. Because supplications of this nature are not permitted on Shabbat, the chant is also not done on Shabbat. Even after the destruction of the second Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem, the practice has been continued in Jewish synagogues, and today in most Jewish communities, Kohanim bless the worshippers in the synagogue during special Jewish prayer services. . When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the Divine Presence would shine on the fingers of the Kohanim as they would bless the Jews, and no one was allowed to look out of respect for God. For boys, the introductory line is: May you be like Ephraim and Menashe. After each verse, the congregation responds Amen. , Reform, Reconstructionist and Liberal Judaism, יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם, During the First Temple period, people wore as amulets silver scrolls on which the Birkhat Kohanim was inscribed, as described in the article, Rabbis Stanley Bramnick and Judah Kagen, 1994; and a responsa by the Va'ad Halakha of the. It is a traditional blessing, arousing the above to manifest below, yet is recited in the context of prayer, which gives the blessing an additional boon. The priestly benediction is found in the Torah (Numbers 6:24-26) and consists of three blessings, which is why it’s sometimes known as the “threefold blessing.” On holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, members of synagogues who are part of the priestly class (cohenim) recite the blessing for the congregation, often with their prayer shawls […] The four fingers on each hand are customarily split into two sets of two fingers each (thus forming the letter Shin (שׁ), an emblem for Shaddai, "Almighty [God]"), or sometimes they are arranged to form an overlapping lattice of 'windows.' If the prayer leader is a Kohen himself, he does not prompt the other Kohanim in the blessing. At the beginning of the Jewish ceremony, Levites in the congregation wash the hands of the Kohanim and the Kohanim remove their shoes (if they are unable to remove their shoes without using their hands, the shoes are removed prior to the washing) and ascend the bimah in front of the Torah ark at the front of the synagogue. This Jewish ceremony is sometimes called Nesiat Kapayim, the "lifting of the hands." It can also describe a state of tranquility. , Leonard Cohen ended his concert in Ramat Gan, Israel, on 24 September 2009, with the Priestly Blessing, reciting it in Hebrew. Versions of the blessing are often found in mortuary and cultic contexts, and anticipate early Jewish commentaries that relate the blessing to death. The Priestly Blessing Chanted The Kohen may not recite the blessing while under the influence of alcohol. He has explained that while attending Orthodox services as a child, he peeked from under his father's tallit and saw the gesture; many years later, when introducing the character of Mr. Spock, he and series creator Gene Roddenberry thought a physical component should accompany the verbal "Live long and prosper" greeting. The Birkat Kohanim recited in Hebrew. It’s said at the conclusion of the service in Christian churches of many denominations, as well as in most Jewish synagogues. Leviticus 9:22 and Deuteronomy 10:8 and 21:5 mention Aaron or the other priests blessing the Israelites. The text to be used for the blessing is specified in Numbers 6:24–26: This is the oldest known Biblical text that has been found; amulets with these verses written on them have been found in graves at Ketef Hinnom, dating from the First Temple Period. In the Yemenite tradition when there is a solitary Kohen, he says the first word of the blessing without prompting after having said the preparatory blessing. A Kohen who is on bad terms with the congregation or who is unwilling to perform the ritual should not perform it. Although said every day in Israel, the holy blessing is only said a few times a year everywhere else in the world. In Liberal (and American Reform) congregations, the concept of the priesthood has been largely abandoned, along with other caste and gender distinctions. Some congregations, especially Reconstructionist ones, have the custom of the congregation spreading their tallitot over each other and blessing each other that way. Hands forming the Hebrew letter Shin. Jewish Blessings; Priestly Blessings; Priestly Blessings. From shop hebrewish. One is not supposed to look at anything during the blessing. May you feel Gods love for you today as you meditate on His words. This gave rise to folklore that one should not see the hands of the Kohen or even that harm would befall someone who sees the hands of the Kohen. The words of the blessing are taken from the priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) and the introduction is altered depending on whether the child being blessed is a boy or girl. Yisa Adonai panav eilecha v’yaseim l’cha shalom. (, This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 03:59. The tradition of covering the hands stems from the biblical prohibition against a Kohen with hands that are disfigured in any way from offering the blessing.  The Jewish Sages stressed that although the priests are the ones carrying out the blessing, it is not them or the ceremonial practice of raising their hands that results in the blessing, but rather it is God's desire that His blessing should be symbolised by the Kohanim's hands. Priestly Blessings. The Hebrew verb translated as gracious in the Aaronic blessing is the verb חנן (hhanan, Strong's #2603) and is often paralleled with other Hebrew words meaning healing, help, being lifted up, finding refuge, strength and rescue. The Aaronic blessing is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. 1983 television show "Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek Memories" This story was told by Nimoy on camera and repeated in somewhat abbreviated form in 1999 on the SciFi Channel "Star Trek: Special Edition" commentary for the episode "Amok Time". 5 out of 5 stars. It happened during the Priestly Blessing. The Priestly Blessing (Birkat Kohahim in Hebrew), sometimes also called the threefold blessing, is an ancient benediction recited by the priests (kohanim) in the holy temple in Jerusalem. The Priestly Blessing - And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. And the blessing should be performed only in the presence of a minyan – even if the Kohanim themselves must be included for a total of ten. , The Kohen raises his hands, with the palms facing downward and the thumbs of his outspread hands touching. “Birkhat Kohanim” – The Priestly Blessing is an ancient Jewish tradition. 'May G‑d turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace.'" Today, it is recited in synagogues most commonly during the Musaf prayer, the additional holiday service recited after the Torah reading. In some American Conservative congregations that perform the ceremony, a bat kohen (daughter of a priest) can perform it as well. Various interpretations of these verses connect them to the three Patriarchs; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or to three attributes of God: Mercy, Courage, and Glory. Apparently this prompting is done to avoid errors or embarrassment if any of the Kohanim should be ignorant of the words of the recitation. Each kohen's tallit is draped over his head and hands so that the congregation cannot see his hands while the blessing is said.  Conservative Judaism has also lifted some of the restrictions on Kohanim including prohibited marriages. Hebrew Priests seen above doing the Priestly Blessing (ברכת כהנים), a sign of benediction also known as the raising of the hands, or priestly benediction.. Like the pyramid sign and its derivatives (ex: Jay Z’s Roc Sign) the sign is made by holding your hands out with you palms facing outwards and your index fingers and thumbs touching at the tip. ", "עוד בעניין נשיאת-כפיים בארץ-ישראל, הנחת הידיים ב'מודה אני, "The Priest in the Concluding Rites of the Mass", "Common Worship > Common Material > New Patterns for Worship > Resource Section > Conclusion > J67", "Book of Common Prayer: Order for the Visitation of the Sick", Reasons for the customs of the Priestly Blessings (Birchat Kohanim), Priestly Blessing, from the Union of Reform Judaism, www.cohen-levi.org procedure for the blessing of the kohanim, Recording of the Priestly Blessing on the Zemirot Database, Why the Priestly Blessing is not recited daily in the Diaspora, Article provided by the Jewish Outreach Institute, an organization dedicated to creating a more open and welcoming Judaism, Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, at Hebrew for Christians, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Priestly_Blessing&oldid=1000023211, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Priestly Blessing - The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. The central message of the blessing is stated in the closing Hebrew word, שׁלום (šālôm), translated “peace”.  German communities perform the blessing in Shaharit, Musaf, and (on Yom Kippur) in Neilah. Ya’eir Adonai panav eilecha vichunecha. This blessing will make a great addition to any home or office for continuance blessing, encouragement and peace. (1) The LORD make his face to … On Simchat Torah, some communities recite it during Musaf, and others during Shacharit, to enable Kohanim to eat or drink during the Torah reading between Shacharit and Musaf. On Yom Kippur the Jewish ceremony is performed during the Ne'ila service as well.  This Ashkenazic practice is based on a ruling by the Remoh, who argued that the Kohanim were commanded to bless the people "with joy", and that Kohanim in the diaspora could not be expected to feel joyful except on the above-mentioned holidays where all Jews are commanded to feel joy. But there may be more layers of meaning. The Priestly Blessing is one of the most powerful blessings in Judaism. Orthodox Judaism does not permit a bat kohen (daughter of a kohen) or bat levi (daughter of a Levite) to participate in nesiat kapayim because the practice is a direct continuation of the Temple ritual, and should be performed by those who would authentically be eligible to do so in the Temple. The Priestly Blessing (Hebrew: ברכת כהנים ; translit: "birkat kohanim"), is unusual it that it contains both of these elements. Priestly Blessing in Hebrew, Numbers 6:24-26, Bible Verse Wall Art Print, Scripture Quotes, May God Bless You and Keep You, Hebrew Prayer. 2010. Y’varech’cha Adonai v’yishm’recha.  The Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has approved two opposing positions: One view holds that a bat kohen may deliver the blessing; another view holds that a bat kohen is not permitted to participate in the Priestly Blessing because it is a continuation of a Temple ritual that women were not eligible to perform. In the Diaspora in Ashkenazic Orthodox communities, the Jewish ceremony is performed only on Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur. Looking at the Kohanim could be distracting. , Some congregations alter the grammar so that the blessing is read in the first person plural: "May God bless us and keep us...". Some congregants will even turn their backs to the Kohanim so as to avoid any possibility of seeing their hands—although this practice is unsupported by any rabbinic source. the Priestly Blessing English Translation (leader) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. According to the Torah, Aaron blessed the people, and YHWH promises that "I will place my name on their hands" (the Kohanim's hands) "and bless them" (the Jews receiving the blessing). The Priestly Blessing Hebrew Poster Numbers 6:24-26 (Aaronic Benediction), provides an easy and fun way for learning this important biblical blessing in its original Hebrew language. birkat kohanim), also known in rabbinic literature as raising of the hands (Hebrew nesiat kapayim) or rising to the platform (Hebrew aliyah ledukhan) or dukhanen (Yiddish from the Hebrew word dukhan – platform – because the blessing is given from a raised rostrum) or duchanning, is a Hebrew prayer recited by Kohanim (the Hebrew Priests, descendants of Aaron). Aside from its pleasant sound, the chant is done so that the congregation may silently offer certain prayers containing individual requests of God after each of the three blessings of the Kohanim. This poster features the biblical Hebrew text of the Priestly Blessing (also known as the “Aaronic Benediction”), with each Hebrew word broken into syllables and transliterated using the English alphabet. This "full spelling" of the verb is said to indicate that the act of blessing others should not be done in a halfhearted or impatient manner, but rather with. Hilchot Tefilla: A Comprehensive Guide to the Laws of Daily Prayer, David Brofsky, KTAV Publishing House/OU Press/Yeshivat Har Etzion. When the blessing is omitted from a prayer in which it could be recited (on weekdays and Shabbat in Ashkenazic diaspora communities, or in any community if a Kohen is not present), the text of the prayer is recited by the hazzan instead, without any special chant or gestures.. Instead one should look at the ground and concentrate on the blessing. In later centuries, the practice became for all Kohanim to cover their hands so that any disfigurement would not be seen by the Congregation. Why someone wrote them down on this piece of parchment, it is impossible to say, though it is likely that it was used as a kamea – a charm of good luck or blessing. Based on the blessing given by the original priests to the Children of Israel, the Priestly blessing is an ancient and profound text that asks God to protect and favor His children. The Priestly Blessing: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His face on you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) The Priestly Blessing Hebrew Poster, provide an easy way for learning this powerful and important blessing in its original Hebrew language. They cover their heads with their tallitot, recite the blessing over the performance of the mitzvah, turn to face the congregation, and then the hazzan slowly and melodiously recites the three verse blessing, with the Kohanim repeating it word by word after him. The Priestly Blessing: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His face on you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) The Priestly Blessing Hebrew Poster, provide an easy way for learning this powerful and important blessing in its original Hebrew language. During the course of the blessing, the hands of the Kohanim are spread out over the congregation, with the fingers of both hands separated so as to make five spaces between them; the spaces are (1) between the ring finger and middle finger of each hand, (2) between the index finger and thumb of each hand, and (3) the two thumbs touch each other at the knuckle and the aperture is the space above or below the touching knuckles. In English, “peace” connotes the absence of war. Priestly Blessing. The Priestly Blessing or priestly benediction, (Hebrew: ברכת כהנים ; translit. The Jewish priestly gesture looked sufficiently alien and mysterious, and became part of Star Trek lore. Extrabiblical evidence such as the two silver Iron Age amulets found at Ketef Hinnom, contemporary Phoenician and Punic amulets and bands, and blessing inscriptions from the southern Levant have shown that the language of the Priestly Blessing derived from a broader tradition of apotropaic text, which was often inscribed on metal and worn in order to provide protection against evil. The Jewish tradition states the Divine Presence would shine through the fingers of the priests as they blessed the people, and no one was allowed to look at this out of respect for God.. The Aaronic Blessings, also called the Priestly Blessing, is the blessing God instructed Aaron and his sons to say over the Israelites in Numbers 6:24–26. Blessings based on the priestly blessing are used in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. The Hebrew term for the Priestly Blessing, administered by the descendants of Aaron, is Birkat Kohanim, also known as Nesi’at Kapayim, the “lifting of the hands,” because of the priests’ uplifted hands, through which the divine blessings flow. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ As mentioned in the previous post, the priestly blessing has three parts: The LORD bless you and keep you. (Numbers 6:24-26) The Hebrew words are: Yivarechecha Adonai viyishmirecha. From a concrete Hebraic perspective this verb means to “provide protection.” Ya'er Adonai panav elecha veechuneka. Instead, a non-Kohen is designated with that task, and the leader remains silent. Therefore, with minimal effort, you will be able to recite these verses in Hebrew and gain a deeper understanding of the Word of God. Eastern European congregations only perform it at Musaf. hebrewish. I have included the passage below and the Hebrew translation. Birkat Kohanim. • Only Kohanim (males aged 13 or older, in direct patrilineal descent from Aaron) may perform the Priestly Benediction. Sephardim have a completely different tradition. By a wonderful stroke of fate, it contains perhaps the oldest liturgical formula still in regular use: the priestly blessings, set out in today’s sedra. The Lord Bless You And Keep You (Aaronic Blessing) - YouTube Today Orthodox Jews continue this practice as a reminder of what praying was like in days past. Again, the story was told by Nimoy on camera. All Kohanim present are obligated to participate, unless disqualified in some way. In the Book of Numbers we read: The Lord spoke to Moses saying: It is customary that, once the Kohanim are assembled on the platform, the cantor or prayer leader will prompt them by reciting each word of the blessing and the Kohanim will then repeat that word. This custom is especially followed if only one Kohen is available to give the blessing. . In Conservative Judaism, the majority of congregations do not perform the priestly blessing ceremony, but some do. Prayer Proclaimed in English and Sung in Hebrew. 'May G‑d shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you. World-famous Messianic Worship Leader Paul Wilbur then sings the prayer over you in Hebrew. He recites aloud the fifteen words of the blessing: 'May G‑d bless you and guard you. The priestly blessing (Num 6:22-24) is the most familiar passage in Numbers 5-6. It also may be said before a long journey, and some people will write it out and wear/keep it as an amulet. 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