The Priestly Blessing is one of the most spiritually powerful rituals performed in the course of Jewish prayer services. At Beth Meyer, we only perform this rite on the Yamim Noraim (High Holy Days) and it is led jointly by the cantor and the Kohanim (descendants of the priestly class) in our congregation. Both male kohanim and women b’not kohen are invited up to the bimah (raised platform) to bless the congregation with the following words from Numbers 6:23-27:
May God bless you and keep you
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you
May God look upon and grant you peace.
While the kohanim and b’not kohen offer this prayer, the congregation wraps themselves in their tallitot and receives the blessing with open hearts.
Click here for a document with a short history of duchening, the Beth Meyer custom, and details regarding the prayer.
*This video project is dedicated to the memory of Howard Cohen, originator of our current minhag, and who mentored many kohanim at the original Beth Meyer location on Johnson St.