The priests must bless the Israelite nation daily

The Literal Commandment

"Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them." (Numbers 6:23-27)

 

The literal commandment is that the Aaronic priests should bless the sons of Israel using what is traditionally called "The Aaronic Blessing". How frequently this should be done is not specified in this passage.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment pictures Messiah's continual intercession on behalf of those who draw near to G-d through Him (Hebrews 7:25). Scripture declares, "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered." (Psalm 32:1, Romans 4:7). We are blessed in Messiah and by Messiah because our lawless deeds have been forgiven and our sins are covered.

This happens daily, even hourly as we repent, turn away from our sin, and confess. We know that when we confess and repent that G-d is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) What greater blessing is there than for a child to be restored to His Father?

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah was unable to fulfill this commandment since He was not a descendant of Aaron.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally observed by an Aaronic priest (or in his absence, a duly authorized rabbi) blessing the children of Israel by reciting the words of the blessing in Hebrew (transliterated below):

Yeh-vah-rech-echa Adonai veh-yish-meh-reh-cha.

Ya-air Adonai pah-nahv alecha vee-chu-neh-cha.

Yee-sa Adonai pa-nahv alecha vee-ya-sem leh-cha shalom.

 

The "ch" in this transliteration is pronounced like the "ch" in Bach. It is not pronounced like cheese.

The priest lifts up his hands together, palms facing the congregation, with his forefinger and thumb touching forming the shape of a triangle. The pinky and ring finger of each hand are held together but separated from the forefinger and second finger (think of Spock's Vulcan greeting in Star Trek).

This blessing is recited during the traditional morning prayers.

 

Other Notes

The recitation of G-d's words from Scripture is always a source of blessing. G-d Himself declares:

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

 

Descendants of Aaron are able to fulfill this commandment today.

Those who are not descendants of Aaron have the freedom to mirror this commandment and bless their families with the same blessing but it is not required.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 78
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 2
  • Mishneh Torah Book Love
  • Mishneh Torah Category 7- Prayer and Priestly Blessing
  • Reference Numbers 6:23
  • Scripture Book Numbers
  • Chapter 6
  • Verse 23
  • English Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
  • Hebrew כג דַּבֵּר אֶל-אַהֲרֹן וְאֶל-בָּנָיו לֵאמֹר, כֹּה תְבָרְכוּ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: אָמוֹר, לָהֶם. {ס}
  • Greek 23 Λάλησον Ααρων καὶ τοῖς υἱοῖς αὐτοῦ λέγων Οὕτως εὐλογήσετε τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ λέγοντες αὐτοῖς
  • Parashah 35- Naso
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 378
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of the blessing of the kohanim every day
  • Category Levites & Priests
  • We can fullfill today Maybe

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