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 NASO:

View Complete List

Not the Same Thing
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

Channeling Divine Light to the Entire World
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Achieving Sanctity
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

> Domestic Harmony and National Peace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

Spirituality Between People
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Strange Verbiage Contains A Beautiful Insight
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Echoes of Shavuos
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

It's a Wonder
Shlomo Katz - 5763

To Drink or Not to Drink?
Shlomo Katz - 5760

ArtScroll

Messiah, Can I Keep My Rolls?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

How Much Do You Love the Torah?
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Out Of Control
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Divine Wisdom
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Blessings from Zion
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Be Committed
Shlomo Katz - 5773

To Acquire Eternal Reward through Happiness
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770



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