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 KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Remembering Amalek
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Flaming Desire
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Higher than Sinai
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

In Defense of Haman
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Moshe Outshines the Dream Team!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

His Worst Nightmare Realized
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

ArtScroll

Amalek - Blinded by Nature
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

From Rags to Riches
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Feeling Inspired
Shlomo Katz - 5761

> The Holiness of Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Moshe Does Not Let Betrayal Infringe on His Love For The People
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Masked Emotions
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Our Story is History
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Fulfill Your Potential
Shlomo Katz - 5764

What's Bad is Good
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Terrorist Threat
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766



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