Naso - The Shadow Follows

Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying: On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel
דַּבֵּר אֶל-אַהֲרֹן וְאֶל-בָּנָיו לֵאמֹר, כֹּה תְבָרְכוּ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
Bamidbar 6:22

Asks the Kedushat Levi, what is the significance of the word "כֹּה"?

To understand this, the Kedushat Levi brings in the insights of The Baal Shem Tov. The Baal Shem Tov would admonish people through the verse in Tehillim (121): ה' צִלְּךָ - Hashem is they shade.

That is to say that just as one's shadow mimics the movements of the body, so also Hashem is reflected in our actions. Hashem  approaches us as an extension of our own actions. Thus we have to do mitzvot, give to charity, and have mercy on those less fortunate in order for Hashem to show similar traits towards ourselves.

Like He Does
This trait is called "כֹּה" - like he does. Hashem wants and desires to show goodness to Am Yisrael.  For it is known, that just as a calf wants to drink  its mother's milk, even more so the mother wants to feed her own offspring.

Preparation
For when one gets ready to step forward and pray before The Creator (blessed be He) whether for the Amida or any other supplication, our prayers need to be directed to Hashem and be pleasurable, rather than felt like a burden.  Like it says in Pirkei Avot:
Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai received the tradition from Hillel and Shammai. He would say: If you have learned much Torah, do not take credit for yourself---it is for this that you have been formed.
רבן יוחנן בן זכאי קיבל מהלל ומשמאי. הוא היה אומר
אם למדת תורה הרבה, אל תחזיק טובה לעצמך, כי לכך נוצרת
Mishna 2:8
That all of our spiritual efforts should be focused on pleasing Hashem.

Receiver
It is known that one who prays for himself, then he is known as receiver. That when one wants to receive something then he holds his hand out with the palm raised, and back of the hand down to the ground.

Influencer
When one prays to Hashem with focus and intent to please Hashem then he is known as an influencer, for it is as if his actions impact how Hashem will act. The influencer instead holds his hand with the palm face down.
Priestly Blessing
So also is how the hands of the Kohen are positioned for making the priestly blessing. For the Kohen holds his hands up with the palm outward, away from his face, like one who wants to influence. This is the explanation for the verse: "On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel" - "כֹּה תְבָרְכוּ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל"

That is to say, the Kohen should bless Am Yisrael in order to please Hashem. And you should all be influencers upon Hashem and so likewise Hashem will have influence to all of us - goodness and blessings upon Israel.



No comments:

Post a Comment