Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Two Hands

Many parents have the custom to bless their children on Shabbos evening with the verses of Birkas Kohanim. While doing so they place both hands on their children’s heads. The Zohar explains that using two hands creates a complete connection between parent and child, allowing the full power of the blessing to flow into the child (as cited in Responsa Yaavetz 2,125).

Birkas Kohanim is a mitzva reserved exclusively for kohanim, and a non-kohen who recites it has committed a serious transgression. But doesn’t the traditional Friday-night blessing violate this halacha? Are we not performing Birkas Kohanim?

Some authorities suggest that a non-kohen saying Birkas Kohanim is only problematic if he does so with his hands spread out like a kohen. For this reason students of the Vilna Gaon would only rest one hand on their children’s heads while blessing them (as cited in Chumash Torah Temima Bamidbar 6,23). This practice never caught on, and most parents continue to bless their children with both hands, though obviously not with the special openings between their fingers.


Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Yefas Toar: The Exception Proves The Rule
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Guaranteed Eternity
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

The Epitome of G-d's Kindness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Beautiful Accompaniment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Focusing Our Prayers
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

A Rosh Hashana Message
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Love, Awe, Humility, Wisdom, and Birds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Elul: A Month of Preparation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Yehi Ratzon - Text and Instructions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

ArtScroll

Overlook It When You've Been Wronged
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Nerve Centre of the Year
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Thanks to Egypt
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

> Shofar: Shock Treatment
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

War and Peace
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Chase Away the Mother
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

The Month of Elul
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information