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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
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Priests Galore

Priests Galore

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash9

On March 28, 2013, Chol Hamoed Pesach (the intermediary days of Passover), thousands assembled in front of the Western Wall to receive a mega-blessing from a very large group of cohanim (Jewish priests).

One of the lovely discoveries a religious Jewish person makes when arriving in Israel, is that the priestly blessing, which in the diaspora is given only a scant few times a year, is given here, in Israel, every day, occasionally twice a day.

At first, you respond with a tremendous amount of reverence, standing upright and covering your head in the talit, when the cohanim take the podium. But, over time, you become as blase as the rest of the folks in shul, because that’s the way humans behave.

The priestly blessing in Hebrew is comprised of three verses, of 3, 5, and 7 words. The first primary numbers after the number 1. In several science fiction stories, the way a race announced that it is intelligent is by showing its command of primary numbers, which divide only by themselves and by 1.

In English the effect is lost (Numbers 6:22-27):

The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

The Lord bless you and keep you The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace

So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.


About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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