One of the topics discussed in this week’s parsha is birchat kohanim or the priestly blessings which HASHEM tells Moshe to command the Kohanim to bless Bnei Yisrael with. There are three priestly blessings. The three blessings are: “May HASHEM bless you and safeguard you, may HASHEM illuminate his countenance upon you and be gracious to you, and may HASHEM lift his countenance over you and establish peace for you” (Bamidbar 7:25-26, translation mostly from the Artscroll Stone Ed. Chumash).
According to the Sifrei, as I saw quoted in the Artscroll Stone edition of the Chumash, the second blessing, “May HASHEM illuminate his countenance upon you,” is a blessing that the light of Torah should be illuminated upon the Jewish people. The Sforno adds that not only does the second blessing refer to the light of the Torah being shined upon the Jewish people but that HASHEM should allow for bnei yisrael to be able to have a stronger awareness of the wisdom of Torah and of HASHEM’s intricate creation. Furthermore, the Tanchuma adds that this blessing also refers to asking HASHEM to have ones children merit to become great Torah scholars. The Tanchuma’s understanding of the second of the priestly blessings can help us understand why many have the custom to bless their children with this priestly blessing at the First Shabbos meal on Friday night.
May we merit to be blessed with the second of the priestly blessings to help us grow in our connection to HASHEM and HIS Torah. Additionally may we merit to see the Tanchuma’s understanding of the second blessing become manifested in our own lives were we merit to see our children become great Torah scholars regardless of what they do professionally (i.e. even if they are an accountant and not a Rabbi).
May Moschiach come soon! Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes-Gidon Herschander