Priestly Blessing by Rabbi GrushcowTemple Temple2020-05-28T10:04:22-05:00
This week, we read the Torah portion which contains the priestly blessing (Num. 6:24-26):
May God bless you and keep you!
The God deal kindly and graciously with you!
The God bestow favour upon you and grant you peace!
These ancient words radiated blessings to our ancestors and to us. We will say them this Friday morning, as part of our Shavuot and Yizkor service, as we do on every holy day. We also say these words at significant moments in our lives: we use them to bless new babies, young adults when they become bnei mitzvah, wedding couples, and even beside the grave of someone we loved. Strikingly, they are directed towards the entire people, but the words address us in the singular, speaking to us as individuals in the midst of the whole.
Perhaps in keeping with this, in traditional services the individual recites a meditation when the priestly blessing is said. The text is spoken by Rabbi Grushcow in the recording, and you can read it below. We have also included Rona’s recording of the melody for the priestly blessing. Our hope is that both the words and the melody bring you comfort and inspiration, as we all look for blessing in these troubled times.
Master of the Universe, I am Yours and my dreams are Yours. I have dreamt a dream and I do not know what it means. May it be Your will, Eternal my God and God of my ancestors, that all my dreams be, for me and all Israel, for good, whether I have dreamt about myself, or about others, or others have dreamt about me. If they are good, strengthen and reinforce them, and may they be fulfilled in me and them like the dreams of the righteous Joseph. If, though, they need healing, heal them as You healed Hezekiah King of Judah from his illness, like Miriam the prophetess from her leprosy, like Na’aman from his leprosy, like the waters of Mara by Moses our teacher, and like the waters of Jericho by Elisha. And just as You turned the curses of Balaam the wicked from curse to blessing, so turn all my dreams about me and all Israel to good; protect me, be gracious to me and accept me. Amen