Priestly Blessing

Children’s reflections on the priestly blessing, the words some Jewish parents bless their children with on Friday nights:

  • “When you’re born, your parents know you’re special. But they think, I wonder what’s going to be special about this kid. Then they see, ‘Oh, that!’ But they’re not sure. Because you’re not all the way grown up and you can only know it when you’re all the way grown up.” (3rd grade boy)
  • “Having a blessing on you makes you feel happy.” (3rd grade boy)
  • “Like when you get a blessing on you, they’re [your parents] aren’t just saying it because they have to. They think you’re special. When they say it, it might make you happy because they care about you.” (4th grade boy)
  • “Your parents are saying they’re going to protect you, give you peace. Forever, even when they’re dead.” (4th grade girl)

Anafim learned that long ago, people carried these words as an amulet. Tiny silver cases with these words inside were found in an archeological site outside the Old City of Jerusalem (here’s the Anafim we shared with Anafim: Ketef Hinnom scroll).


Numbers 6

22) Adonai said to Moshe (Moses),

23) “Say to Aharon (Aaron) and his sons, Bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

24) May Adonai bless you and protect you

25) May Adonai shine Adonai’s face on you, and be gracious to you

26) May Adonai show you favor, and give you peace.

27) “Whenever Aharon (Aaron) and his sons bless the people of Israel in My name, I [God] myself will bless them.”

במדבר 6

  כב) וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

  כג) דַּבֵּ֤ר אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹן֙ וְאֶל־בָּנָ֣יו לֵאמֹ֔ר כֹּ֥ה תְבָרֲכ֖וּ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אָמ֖וֹר לָהֶֽם׃ ס  

כד) יְבָרֶכְךָ֥ יְהוָ֖ה וְיִשְׁמְרֶֽךָ׃ ס

  כה) יָאֵ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה׀ פָּנָ֛יו אֵלֶ֖יךָ וִֽיחֻנֶּֽךָּ׃ ס

  כו) יִשָּׂ֨א יְהוָ֤ה׀ פָּנָיו֙ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וְיָשֵׂ֥ם לְךָ֖ שָׁלֽוֹם׃ ס  

כז) וְשָׂמ֥וּ אֶת־שְׁמִ֖י עַל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַאֲנִ֖י אֲבָרֲכֵֽם׃ פ

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