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Rabbi Feingold's D'var Torah

 

Naso - 06/04/20

The highlight of this week’s parasha is the Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Benediction, Numbers
6:24-26.  The Birkat Kohanim was intended originally as a blessing that only the kohanim, the
priests, bestowed upon the people of Israel. Today, it is often used by any clergy person to
bless a congregation or an individual, sometimes at a life cycle event or other milestone; other
times at a sickbed. In this blessing we pray that God bestows protection or safety, grace or
love, and peace or well-being upon us.   Are you feeling these blessings in this time of the
pandemic and societal unrest or do they seem far away?  What brings them near?  What
pushes them away?   One way to immerse ourselves in the presence of these blessings is to use
the Birkat Koahnim as a meditative respite when the things spinning around us overwhelm.
The link below provides a short meditation that might be a useful daily practice to remind us
that, in spite of many things that are out of our control, we do experience goodness and
blessings in our lives. (Scroll down to the bottom of this article from reformjudaism.org for the
meditative video.) https://reformjudaism.org/blog/2012/11/06/path-wellness-jewish-
mindfulness-meditation

Sat, June 6 2020 14 Sivan 5780