Priests and kings were anointed, and occasionally prophets.
The text to be used for the blessing is specified in Numbers 6: Various interpretations of these verses connect them to the three Patriarchs ; AbrahamIsaacand Jacobor to three attributes of God: Mercy, Courage, and Glory.
The First Founding Moment: Genesis 11 Genesis , it is widely agreed, consists of two cosmogonies (cc.1and ). The first (the familiar seven-day creation account) is also an introduction, providing a lens for viewing the. The Business of War. By Wade Frazier. Revised July Introduction. The Business of War. The "Good War" Brown Shirts in America. A Brief History of Western Anti . There is a very interesting connection with the tzitzit of Numbers 15 and the “spy narrative” that precedes it in Numbers 13 and In Numbers the Hebrew word for “spy” is Tur.
Versions of the blessing are often found in mortuary and cultic contexts, and anticipate early Jewish commentaries that relate the blessing to death. Although specific words in the Priestly Blessing are commonly found in the Bible, the syntactic sequences in which they occur suggest parallels not to other biblical passages, but to blessing inscriptions from late Iron Age southern Levant.
In particular it has been suggested that the enigmatic instruction to "put [Yhwh's] name on the Israelites" in Numbers 6: 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.
A Kohen may be disqualified by, e. This custom is especially followed if only one Kohen is available to give the blessing.
Apparently this prompting is done to avoid errors or embarrassment if any of the Kohanim should be ignorant of the words of the recitation. However, if there are a number of kohanim, they may say the first word of the blessing "Yevarekhekha" without the prompting, presumably to demonstrate their familiarity with the ritual.
Instead, a non-Kohen is designated with that task, and the How does priestly show in his remains silent. This practice is still done in many Orthodox communities.
In many communities, it is customary for congregants to spread their tallitot over their own heads during the blessing and not look at the Kohanim. If a man has children, they will come under his tallit to be blessed, even if they are quite old.
The unattributed basis of this custom is to emphasize the spiritual aspect of the blessing over the role of the Kohanim themselves; as per the scriptural verse, the Kohanim are simply a vehicle for the expression of the blessing, when they "place My name upon the children of Israel".
A tradition common among Ashkenazim rests on the basis that during the recital of this blessing the Shekhinah becomes present where the kohanim have their hands in the "shin" gesture, so that gazing there would be harmful.
This response is used instead of "Amen", because the hazzan is merely "mentioning" the blessing, essentially quoting it rather than actually performing the ritual.
This response is also employed on days and times when the Amidah is repeated but the Kohanim do not recite the priestly blessing. It is usually prefaced, for boys with a request for God to make the child like Ephraim and Manasseh These were the two sons of Joseph who are remembered because according to tradition, they never fought with one another.
Similarly, some rabbis will say the blessing to a boy at his bar mitzvah or to a girl at her bat mitzvah.
Times performed[ edit ] Mosaic in the synagogue of Enschede Among Jews in Israel except in Galilee and among most Sephardic Jews worldwide, the ceremony is performed every day during the repetition of the Shacharit and Mussaf Amidah.
On Yom Kippur the Jewish ceremony is performed during the Ne'ila service as well. On fast days other than Yom Kippur, it is performed at Minchaif said in the late afternoon.
The reason for offering the blessing in the afternoon only on fast days is that on these days Kohanim cannot drink alcohol prior to the ceremony. Eastern European congregations only perform it at Musaf. On Simchat Torahsome communities recite it during Musaf, and others during Shacharit, to enable Kohanim to eat or drink during the Torah reading between Shacharit and Musaf.
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 presentthe text of the prayer is recited by the hazzan instead, without any special chant or gestures.
The use of a platform is implied in Leviticus 9: They cover their heads with their tallitotrecite the blessing over the performance of the mitzvahturn 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.
After each verse, the congregation responds Amen. If there are more than one Kohan 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.
However, if there is only one Kohan performing the blessings he starts the blessing over performing the blessings without any prompting from the congregation; the hazzan then continues as normal.
In the Yemenite tradition when there is a solitary Kohan he says the first word of the blessing without prompting after having said the preparatory blessing. Raising the hands[ edit ] Shefa Tal 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.
Performing the Jewish ceremony of the priestly blessing is known in Yiddish as duchening, a reference to the bimah on which the blessing is said. 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 rabbis softened this prohibition by saying that a Kohen with disfigured hands to which the community had become accustomed could bless.
In later centuries, the practice became for all Kohanim to cover their hands so that any disfigurement would not be seen by the Congregation. 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.
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.
Prayer chant[ edit ] 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.
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