This photograph was taken by Shoshanah during one of the main festivals – Pesach or Sukkot (during the intermediate days). Twice a year, Israel offers an incredible opportunity for everybody to come to the Kotel and receive (or give if they are Kohanim) the blessing from the Kohanim.
In the book of Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 6, verses 22-27, God commands to Aharon that he and his descendants after him are to bless the Jewish people with a very special blessing, “May God bless you and keep you. May he shine His countenance upon you and grant you favour. May He lift His countenance towards you and may He grant you peace.”
Aharon is the man of peace. There was never any man like him before him and one can only wonder if there will come anyone after him who was so connected with the concept of peace, that he was able to bring peace to everyone.
It was said that when there was an argument between two people, he would bring peace to them in the following way: He would first approach the one person. He would tell him that his neighbour was actually quite distressed about the fight that they had gotten into. He would tell him that he really wanted peace and was heart broken – but that he did not know how to go about things!
Then he would approach the other, and say the exact same thing! Now, the two people felt that it was the other who had felt sorry and really wanted peace between them. The two would meet up and begin crying over their once-before quarrel! Then they would hug, and without another word between them, peace would be restored!
Most people are not able to attain such levels of peace – but Aharon the Kohein was able to. Due to this, he was given the privilege of blessing the Jewish people with this auspicious and beautiful blessing. Within the soul of Aharon is the desire for peace to exist everywhere. He wants nothing else. There is no reason to have to hurt the other. We must seek out peace and bring it to others wherever we can.
There is no need to condemn the other – so often just wishing them the worst when things look bleak. On the contrary, no matter what, we must bless the other always. Our duty is not to condemn the other because of his station in life. Our duty is to bring peace.
“Things are not so great, I wish they could be better!” is an often heard remark. Many are quick on the draw to reply, “Things could be worse!” True… but Aharon would not say that. He would more likely say, “Things could indeed be better. Indeed, may they be so!” Peace is looking at the side of love. Aharon is the ultimate man of Chessed (kindness). Why hate, when there is so much to love? Why hurt the other – especially when they are down – when one can uplift?!
What does this blessing really mean? Rashi tells us:
May God bless you: May He bless you with property (things that you can own).
May He protect you: So that no robbers should come to take your money away. (It is one thing to gain assets, but who says they will stay?! For that one needs an additional blessing!) Because one who takes a gift from his friend is not able to safeguard it from people. If robbers come and steal it from him, then what good is the gift?! But God is the Giver and He is the Protector.
May God illuminate His countenance upon you: May He show you a happy and glowing Face.
May God lift His Face to you: May he overcome His anger.
Here at the Kotel, twice a year, all the Kohanim who wish to, take part in blessing all of the Jewish people. Hundreds of thousands pack in to this tiny area (miraculously!) spend the morning in prayer and await eagerly for the blessing from tens or even hundreds of Kohanim. What an amazing blessing!
We have been blessed to be there. Perhaps you have too! If not, we hope you will be blessed to make it there even once! It’s a most special occasion.
If you have never been there, if you have been there, or even if you plan to still come, you can own this beautiful image printed as an 8×12 inch photo on canvas together with an “I Care” badge. Place it in your dining room or your office or anywhere to remind you of the beauty of Israel, the beauty of Jerusalem, the beauty of the Jewish people, the beauty of the Torah. You can even place it on a wall in the direction towards to Kotel so that when you pray at home, you will really be reminded of the holy Beit HaMikdash (the Temple) that once stood, and for which we long to have again. The Temple – for which we pray for at least three times a day!
By purchasing this image, you will be assisting us to continue our own lives in Jerusalem, to be able to spend time in studying Torah, teaching Torah, and sharing the beauty of what it means to be Jewish.
By purchasing it, you show yourself to be a true supporter for caring for another who is struggling and trying to get on their feet in life. It is a special part of the “I Care Club” reserved for those who really do care. Buy one for yourself, or buy one for a friend! It will make a great gift and show others how much you care!
Thank you for your support.