Priestly Blessing

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The blessing recited by the priests (see KOHEN) in ancient times in the Temple and nowadays in the synagogue. The biblical source is Numbers 6: 22–7: ‘The Lord spoke to Moses: Speak to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the people of Israel. Say to them: The Lord bless you and protect you! The Lord deal kindly and graciously with you! The Lord bestow His favour upon you and grant you peace! Thus they shall link My name with the people of Israel, and I will bless them.’ The blessing is in three parts and is called ‘the threefold blessing’. In the Hebrew the first section consists of three words, the second of five, and the third of seven. In the Temple the priests recited the blessing twice daily, in the morning and afternoon, while they stood on a special platform, known as the dukhan (‘platform’). In the synagogue the blessing is recited by the priests while standing in front of the Ark. To this day, the recital of the priestly blessing is called in Yiddish dukhenen, literally, ‘platforming’, after the Temple procedures.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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