Friday, May 21, 2010

Parshas Naso

There’s something about Birchas Kohanim that makes it an emotional time. The memories of being a child and going under my father’s tallis. The Kohanim giving a Bracha to us that is so Kadosh, that we are not allowed to see it. The “Rebono Shel Olam” Tefillah”, the beautiful singing of the Kohanim while we say the Tefilah. Where I always wondered how come there are more examples of people being cured, than strengthening the good.

Something to say:

May God bless you and safeguard you (6:24).

This parsha contains the Priestly Blessing, with which God commanded the Kohanim of every generation to bless the Jewish people. It is interesting to note that despite the fact that this blessing was recited in the Temple and synagogue over the entire congregation, it is phrased entirely in the singular, rather than in the plural.

One explanation for this is that it is not always possible, or wise, to extend the same blessing to everyone uniformly. For the farmer, rain today may be an anxiously awaited blessing; for the long-distance traveler, it would be a hindrance. Wealth, a handsome appearance, or an extraordinary measure of some talent might be tremendous gifts and resources for one person; for another, each of these might be a burden could not handle. Only God, Designer of all creations and Endower of all gifts, knows precisely what blessing is appropriate for whom. He therefore tells the Kohanim to bless the people in the singular; each individual should receive the form of blessing that is most appropriate for him.

When I went with my family to Israel for my brothers bar mitzvah, we would talk about how we hoped it didn’t rain the day we would all be celebrating at the Kotel. My aunt who lives in Israel would say that she hoped it did rain and she would supply umbrellas for everyone. That Israel needs rain. Everyone has different needs, so we are blessed individually, rather than the same for everybody.