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The Priestly Blessing

06/14/2019 12:00:57 PM


Rabbi Steven Suson

I always look forward to Fridays. I suppose I'm not alone - most of us do. Friday reminds us that whatever happened during the work week to make us nervous, anxious, or frustrated has passed and before us lies a day dedicated to family, rest and showing gratitude God. 

As I child, I anticipated Erev Shabbat and our regular Friday night meals with friends and family crowded around the dining room table. Just before reciting the Kiddush, my father would make his way around the table and give each child a blessing and a kiss atop the head. Although I always looked forward to that moment, I never realized how truly special it was until 22 Friday nights ago, when I received my final blessing and kiss from my father, of blessed memory. 

The ancient blessing comes from this week's Torah portion when Aaron and his descendants are commanded to bless the people of Israel with words that are as potent today as they were in biblical times. The Priestly Blessing reminds us that our gifts were given for a purpose.

On Friday nights, the parent reminds the child, as the priests remind the people about our individual worth. Each of us has been blessed with unique talents. Attributes differ from one person to the next but all are bestowed by God. Some are blessed with wealth that they may use to help sustain our community and those who are in need. Many have great wisdom or expertise in areas which allow them to contribute in unique ways. Others are compassionate and caring people who model for others how important a supportive community can be. All have been created and blessed by God. Everyone has something special to offer.

Tonight, b”H, Mara will receive her 442nd blessing and kiss. I invite you to join me in regularly blessing your children with the same powerful words. May we be reminded of all the goodness with which we, too, have been blessed and our unique abilities to help repair the world.

May God bless you and keep you.
May God make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May God turn His face toward you and grant you peace.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Suson

Tue, July 14 2020 22 Tammuz 5780