Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A World of Blessing

Parshat Naso
2 Sivan 5774 / May 30 – 31, 2014
Bamidbar 4:21 – 7:89

A World of Blessing
by Zvi Bellin, MHHQ

'May God bless you and guard you.
'May God shine God’s countenance upon you and be gracious to you.
'May God turn God’s countenance toward you and grant you peace.'" (Bamidbar 6:24-26)

The Jewish practice of blessing is quite audacious. We hold that no matter what kind of person you are, your words hold the spiritual power to shift the way reality unfolds. This is actually not such a hard phenomenon to witness. The next time you take a stroll down the street, or are at a grocery store, see what happens when you greet people with warm words versus speaking coldly to them. You will certainly draw different kinds of responses, and your small encounters will most likely cause ripples of impact in the lives of others.

Today, the Priestly Blessing is an invitation to stop and take notice of the people that surround us. It is also a reminder that how we speak to each other matters. I know for myself, especially through emails, it is easy to get caught up in busy-ness and send out kurt and crude messages. I know that these have had adverse effects on the reader, and I am learning over and over again to be more thoughtful about the content that I send out - written, or spoken.

Perhaps the ultimate gift of the Priestly Blessing is that in order to say it to someone else, there has to be at least a small part of you that knows that the receiver of the blessing is indeed worthy of its praise.  You begin to see people through the eyes of the blessing, and they are transformed. As this happens, you begin to treat them as worthy of blessing, and so the way you act in the world is transformed as well. By this practice, we transcend the idea of a priestly class, into a priestly nation, and further still to a priestly global community. 


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