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 SHOFTIM AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Of Fashions and Foods
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

A Rosh Hashana Message
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5769

Appointing An Unworthy Judge = Planting An Ashera: Why?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Thoughts for Pre-Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

One of A King
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

> Shoftim - - Judge For Yourself
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

The Measure of A Person Is His Sense of Gratitude
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5769

A Time to Remember and Be Inspired
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

ArtScroll

Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Overlook It When You've Been Wronged
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Yehi Ratzon - Text and Instructions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

First in the Mind!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Teshuva and Rebi Elazar ben Dordai
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Month of Elul: The Power of Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

The Focus of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757



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