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 TERUMAH:

View Complete List

A Real Story in the Making
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

A Place to Grow
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Make Way!
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Build Your Own Coffin
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Guaranteed Dividends
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Put the Torah in Your Terumah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

> Invest in Yourself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Asking the Impossible
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

We Should Take A Lesson From G-d
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Escape into Shul
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

No Force Could Ever Frustrate
Rabbi Label Lam - 5775

Inspiration Needs To Be Translated Into Physical Action
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

ArtScroll

Bring G-d out of the "House of Worship"
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

The Heart of Gold - Perceiving Amalek
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

The Meaning of the Mishkan
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Elevating the Physical
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774



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