Aahronic Benediction / Priestly Blessing

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
Yevhārēkh-khā Yahuweh veyishmerēkhā
May Yahuweh bless you and guard you

יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ‬
Yāʾēr Yahuweh pānāw ēlekhā viḥunnékkā
May Yahuweh make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you

יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם‬
Yissā Yahuweh pānāw ēlekhā viyāsēm lekhā shālōm
May Yahuweh lift up His face unto you and give you peace​

‘יהוה bless you and guard you; ” “Speak to Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is how you bless the children of Yisra’ĕl. Say to them: יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.” ’ Thus they shall put My Name on the children of Yisra’ĕl, and I Myself shall bless them.’
Bemiḏbar (Numbers) 6:23-27

The Priestly Blessing or priestly benediction, also known in rabbinic literature as raising of the hands (Hebrew nesiat kapayim), is a Hebrew prayer recited by Kohanim (the Hebrew Priests, descendants of Aaron).

According to the Torah, Aaron blessed the people, and יהוה promises that “I will place my name on their hands” (the Kohanim’s hands) “and bless them” (the Hebrews receiving the blessing). The Hebrew Sages stressed that although the priests are the ones carrying out the blessing, it is not them or the ceremonial practice of raising their hands that results in the blessing, but rather it is God’s desire that His blessing should be symbolised by the Kohanim’s hands.

Even after the destruction of the second Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem, the practice has been continued in Jewish synagogues, and today in most Jewish communities, Kohanim bless the worshippers in the synagogue during special Jewish prayer services.

This is the oldest known Biblical text that has been found; amulets with these verses written on them have been found in graves at Ketef Hinnom, dating from the First Temple Period.


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