The Aaronic Blessing (Hebrew, English and Transliteration) (Numbers 6:22-27)
The Aaronic Blessing found in Bamidbar (Num) 6:22-27 is the the most famous blessing in the Torah (Bible):
“Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, Adonai bless you and keep you; Adonai make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; Adonai lift up his countenance upon you and give you Shalom (peace)” (Numbers 6:23b-26).
YHWH commanded Aaron and his sons to pronounce this blessing, because He wanted to bless His children. We call it the Aaronic Blessing, the Jews have different name for it: Bircas Kohanim (Priestly Blessing). It is clear that in this blessing that is Elohim (God) who does the blessing. This blessing express the thought that we own all to Adonay who shields his people from all harm and grants them all things necessary for their welfare.
This blessing includes prosperity, children, security, land, happiness and health; the Lord is the source of all these things. When we enjoy health or succeed the grace of the Almighty is the powerful source of it. The Aaronic Blessing is not a magical spell, it is prayer from Elohin to us, to reminde us that nothing is possible without Him.
The Rav or Rabbi will lift up his hand or hands and pronounce the blessing over the Kehilah (congregation) at the end of the services. It derives from the:
Tephilim (Psal) 134: 2 “Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless Adonai!”
We should remember that YHWH is doing the blessing and not the one speaking it, so the the Rav or Rabbi are, by this means, transmitting His will.
There are some requirements for doing the Aaronic Blessing:
1) In Hebrew (Deut 27:11-26 and Joshua 8:33-35)
2) Standing (Deut 27:12 and Deut 21:5)
3) With Raised Hands (Lev 9:22)
4) Pronuncing the Name of Adonai (Numb 6:27 and Deut 12:5)
5) Facing the Kehilah (Num 6)
6) In high voice (Num 6 and Psalms 113:4)
It is common for whomever is reciting the blessing to make their hands resemble the hebrew letter shin representing one of the hebrew word (Shim) of the word – Shaddai. Sephardim have a completely different tradition. They raise their hands above their heads and separate all their fingers.
Here is The Aaronic Blessing in Hebrew and English and a video about how it’s done.
The transliteration of the Hebrew words are: Yivarechecha Adonai viyishmirecha
Ya’er Adonai panav elecha veechuneka
Yeesa Adonai panav elecha viyasem lecha shalom
Note: Remember that Hebrew is read from right to let, and that YHWH is change for Adonai
Rabbi Yosef ben Marques © 2017