Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blessing our children with Birkat Kohanim


In addition to asking Gd to bless our children to be like our ancestors, we also invoke Birkat Kohanim, from Bamidbar 6:24-27. This is likely because the introduction and postscript to those passages identifies them as the way we should always be blessed.

There is some debate about having non-kohanim use this blessing, based on Ketuvot 24b. However, authorities (Bach and Maharsha, for example) do permit its use so long as one does not imitate the hand-formations of the kohanim.

For more on this, see commentaries to Shabbat 118b, in which R' Yosi - a non-kohen - seems to say that he would perform birkat hakohanim upon request.

Have a great day,

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