Parashat Nasso – The Priestly Blessing

The priestly blessing is found in this parasha after the process of dealing with suspected infidelity and then the laws of the Nazarite.This blessing is given by the Kohanim on Chagim in Shule by the Rabbi to the bar-mitzva boy and bat-mitzva girl,and by fathers to their children on Erev Shabbat.
The blessing goes as follows:”May the Lord bless you and protect you, May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you,May the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace”.
Rashi commented that “bless you” means “may your possessions be blessed”; ”keep you” means “that you should not be attacked and robbed”.  “Make His face shine on you” means “blessed with gifts on a spiritual plane” and “be gracious to you” means “He may give you grace”. R’ Eli Munk wrote that this describes an emotional bond which goes beyond rational analysis.
To turn towards another indicates acceptance and the suppression of anger, so Rashi wrote that “turn His face towards you” is a blessing for G-d to suppress His anger . R’ Munk wrote that this might apply to His own rightful anger, resulting from Israel’s sins as well as to the unjust anger of Israel’s neighbours.
The final words “give you peace” are the blessing of peace. It applies to the individual , the family, the nation and to universal peace. Peace is the subject of the final words in several prayers(Amidah , Kaddish , and Bircat Hamazon ). R’ Munk wrote that achieving peace depends on the will of man and the blessing of G-d.
R’ SR Hirsch wrote that for the individual, you will possess “shalom” when striving after love and righteousness, when practising mercy and living truly. Inner peace means the absence of division between desire and duty, and between the task of your life and its realisation in action. R’ Louis Jacobs wrote that peace is not just the absence of strife but a positive harmonising principle in which opposites are reconciled. G-d makes peace “in His High places” by combining justice and mercy. R’ Jacobs concluded that peace is the fruit of inner strength.
Pin It

Comments are closed.