Birkat Cohanim is known as the Priestly Blessing and also known in Hebrew as Nesiat Kapayim‚ literally meaning the Raising of the Hands. In Israel and among most spharadic congregations worldwide this Birkat Kohanim ceremony is traditionally performed daily during the repetition of the Amidah at Shacharit. In Orthodox Ashkenazi congregations outside of Israel the Priestly Blessing ceremony is performed only on the High holidays.
Birkat Cohanim is a very special prayer taken from Numbers 6:24-27.
May G-d send his blessing on you and keep you
May His light face be shining on you in grace '
On certain occasions this blessing is recited by the descendents of Aaron the Cohanim priests‚ through a special ceremony. The Cohanim spread their hand in a specific way to deliver the blessing
See the picture to see the position of the hands at Birkat Cohanim.
There are three times‚ called Shlosha Regalim‚ that the Israelites were commanded to celebrate in the place the Lord your God will choose Deut. 16:16. These are the high holidays Passover‚ Shavuot‚ and Sukkot.
The name Shlosha Regalin is derived from the Hebrew word for foot‚ regel.
Thus these Shalosh Regalim are the times you walk to Jerusalem meaning pilgrim festivals. At each of the three pilgrimage festivals Birkat Cohanim is recited at a special ceremony.
It is the custom for congregants to spread their Tallitot over their own heads during the blessing and not look at the Cohanim so as to emphasize that the blessing is from God. If a man has children‚ they will come under his Tallit to be blessed. An illustration of the Blessing of the Cohanim‚ the biblical priestly blessing‚ will make a special and meaningful gift for a Cohen‚ a Rabbi‚ a teacher‚ or a special community member.
PLEASE USE THE SEARCH OPTIONS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE TO LOOK FOR THE GREAT COLLECTION OF ILLUSTRATED BIRKAT COHANIM.
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