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 ACHAREI MOS AND KEDOSHIM:

View Complete List

The Kedusha Infomercial
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

In Bounds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Separate and Pure
Shlomo Katz - 5759

ArtScroll

Understand the Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Accepting Time
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

Why Is this Portion Different From All Other Portions?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Love Your Neighbor: Who Needs Friends?
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Setting High Goals
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

Rav Elya Meir Bloch Interprets Rashi
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Deafening Silence
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Self-Love: Is it Self-ish?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Holy, or Not Holy - That is the Question!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

> Orlah: Spiritual Barriers
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

A Reservoir of Love
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

From the Profanity of Profanities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Understand The Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774



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