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

Email this article to a friend

Complete Concentration

Birkas Kohanim is a close encounter with Hashem. Our Sages tell us that Hashem participates in the blessing, and that His Presence rests on the hands of the kohen (Yerushalmi Sota 7,2). The kedusha of the kohen’s hands at the time of the blessing is so great that staring at them could weaken one’s vision (Rashi Chagiga 16a).

Our Sages instituted special safeguards to ensure that the congregation will not be distracted during these auspicious moments. Someone who has visible physical deformities should not participate in Birkas Kohanim, for the congregants might be drawn to look at his hands. In addition to causing a person to lose his eyesight, the deformities could distract the congregation’s attention from the blessing of the kohanim (Mishna Berura 128,109).

A painter, whose hands are generally decorated with dabs and smears of interesting colors, moves to a city where kohanim keep their hands outside their talleisim while reciting Birkas Kohanim. Since his colored hands could distract the members of the congregation he should not recite Birkas Kohanim. However, if the local custom is to cover one’s hands with a tallis during the bracha, or if everyone is already used to his multi-colored hands, the painter may recite Birkas Kohanim (Shulchan Aruch 128,32).


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


 






ARTICLES ON HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

To Walk With God
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Rabbi Frand on Rosh HaShana
- 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Sowing the Seeds of Teshuva
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

A Slice of Time with Honey on the Side
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

You Cannot Hide
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

> Happy New Yira
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Blowing Shofar
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Open Door Policy
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

ArtScroll

Those are the Questions?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

True Foundation
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Wake Up!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Say It with Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Must it Be the Same Old Me?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Learning History
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

An Ear For Teshuvah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760



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