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How, Not If

Friday, 21 May, 2010 - 3:49 pm

In this week’s Torah portion, Nasso, we read about the instruction to the Kohanim (priests) to bless the Jewish people. The Torah states:

The Lord spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is how you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them: "May the Lord bless you and watch over you. May the Lord cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you. May the Lord raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace." They shall bestow My Name upon the children of Israel, so that I will bless them. (Numbers 6:22-27).

The commandment for the Kohanim to bless the Jewish people is counted as one of the 613 commandments of the Torah. Yet, interestingly, the Torah does not give a specific instruction to bless the people, i.e. Thou Shall bless the people. Rather, the instruction is merely how to bless the people.

In other words, the Torah takes for granted the fact that the Kohanim will bless the people. It is only clarifying the manner in which the blessing should be carried out.

The lesson for all of us is immense. Speaking harshly toward another is not on the table. Neither is remaining silent. Rather we must always be seeking opportunities to praise and bless each other.

Ultimately, we all can learn from Aaron and his children, as we strive to live more caring lives.

Comments on: How, Not If
5/21/2010

rebecca wrote...

sounds easier than it is, but ok, i'll try.