Ian Silverman, Rabbi

rabbi10View current news articles, commentary, videos and more that have an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

 

ברכת כהנים   THE PRIESTLY BLESSING 

One of the most beautiful customs of our shul, not common for Conservative shuls, is Duchaning (in Yiddish, Duchanen), which we do in the Musaf service for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. If you haven’t experienced this lovely ceremony performed by our Kohanim (Kohens), I encourage you to stay through Musaf to do so. There is a special melody in this ceremony in which the Kohanim repeat the words of the Blessing of Aaron, the High Priest, from the book of Numbers (Yevarecha). We uniquely adapt the tune to melodic lines on Rosh Hashanah evening, and the antiphonal response, led by the Cantor, is quite haunting and joyful.

Why do we Duchan? Numbers, Chapter 6, instructs Aaron and his sons to bless the Israelites with the verse “Bless you, guard you…May Hashem lift His face to you and be gracious to you…May Hashem give you peace…” Since every Kohen is a descendant of Aaron, they are to repeat the blessing for every congregation of ten. Kohanim count as a part of the 10 congregants in the minyan that they are blessing. If a minyan dissolves while they bless the congregation, they continue and conclude it. If the Chazzan is the only Kohen, he is allowed to move from his stand on the bima and face the congregation to bless them. During the repetition, he must wash and remove his shoes before beginning the standing devotion. If he is not the only Kohen, he remains in his place.

Why is this custom of blessing the people called duchening? Because the word for bima, or raised platform, in Aramaic is Duchan. The Kohanim ascend the platform as a mediating symbol between the congregation and the Holy Ark. At this moment, they are a conduit for blessing. The Kohen raises his hands and spreads his fingers in a “V” shape. His hands, therefore, form two Shins (Hebrew letter ש), which equals 600. His fingers are ten and his blessings are three, which equal 613–the number of mitzvoth in the Torah. Talmud Hagigah mentions that one should not look at the fingers of the Kohen as they bless, as doing so will “weaken the eyes.” Probably this was so the Kohen, in feeling  one’s gaze, would not become distracted. It is not correct, however, to turn around, as many do, and show their backs to the Kohanim as they bless us. Many rabbinic authorities label this a “superstitious custom.” It is far better to face them and simply look downward or place one’s head under one’s own tallit as one receives the blessing.

 How many times a year is it customary to do the Kohen blessing with Duchenen? In traditional congregations of the Diaspora (outside of the land of Israel), it should be done on Yom Tovim only (the five major holidays.) In the Ashkenazic congregation of Safed, Israel, it is done on major holidays and each Shabbat, and so, too, in many Ashkenazic congregations outside of Jerusalem. Sfardic synagogues in all of Israel do it every day. Many liberal congregations have discontinued it, considering it a vestige of the past and attached to sacrificial rituals.

There are some interesting facts of Duchening. We take our shoes off, not because the High Priest came in bare feet for the Yom Kippur ceremony, but because the Shulchan Aruch determined that a shoe lace untied can cause a fall, or an effort to tie an untied shoe lace nullifies the hand washing. This would prevent the shoe lace handler from saying the blessing, causing people to think him impure. To avoid this, it was decided that all would take off their shoes before blessing the congregation. A Kohen who doesn’t wish to say the blessing, perhaps because he dislikes someone in the congregation, should get over it! If a Kohen is impure after being in a cemetery, he should intentionally remove himself before the Kohanim begin to ascend the bima.

 

My hope is that this year more of us attend Musaf with our new Chazzan so that they can experience this special ritual performed so enthusiastically by our congregation’s Kohanim. If you are a Kohen and wish to participate, please contact me at 631-741-5344. I will be happy to show you what’s involved.

Beth and I welcome warmly our new Chazzan Mondrow. I look forward to sharing our bima with him Yamim Noraim and beyond, for many years to come. And of course, we wish you and yours a shana tova oometuk. May you and your family be inscribed for a sweet year of health, success and spiritual meaning. שנה טובה

Israel Committee Events

 

Watch a presentation by Israel Committee head Brian Tropper on the Israeli Nation State Law

Committee Meetings

Programs




 

Chai Institute

Israel Items of Interest

KEEP CURRENT WITH THE LATEST NEWS IN ISRAELI ADVOCACY, THE DAILY ALERT HERE.

An Israeli company has developed a means to evaluate the freshness of foods. Read about it HERE.

Israeli startup Zebra Medical Vision, offers an online software that can provide a second opinion on CT scans by analyzing the information and producing a medical report within 90% accuracy. Read about it HERE.

Film recommendation: Mekonen, the story of an Ethiopian Jew who makes peace with an emotional past and embraces his future in Israel, becoming a decorated officer in the IDF while remaining true to his African roots and culture.

Did you know that the first victim of 9-11 was an Israeli Special Forces Veteran who rushed the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 11 to stop the hijackers, but was murdered in his attempt to stop these al-Queda terrorists. Watch a quick video, HERE. 

Read about a small guitar workshop in Jaffa, creating the finest instruments, HERE.

A PhD student at Hebrew University has won an award for developing a test to detect Parkinson's Disease. Read about it HERE.

Three years after publishing an anti-Israel letter in the medical journal, The Lancet, the editor admits he has deep regrets and has dedicated the latest issue to highlighting health care in Israel. Read about it HERE.

Read an article by Chris Coons and Marco Rubio from the Wall Street Journal, "Every Senator Agrees the UN Must Change," HERE.

Israel's medical clowns- they cheer up sick kids, reduce anxiety, decrease pain, and alleviate depression. They are Jews, Christian Arabs, and others. Watch a YouTube video about them HERE.

Learn about the connection of Jews with Israel, the decades-long quest of Israel for peace with it's neighbors, the failure of Palestinian leadership to turn conflict into coexistence, and the contrast between the fate of Palestinian and Jewish refugees from the Arab-Israel conflict, HERE. 

Women of the IDF video

 

Rabbi Silverman's Suggested Sites to See

The father of solar energy was.... you guessed it– an Israeli! Read the story, HERE.

The National Women's Studies Association has awarded a Rutgers University professor for his book asserting that the Israeli Defense Forces, toward the debilitation of Palestine, claim a sovereign right to maim and kill Palestinians. Read about it HERE.

A University of California, San Diego professor shut up a Muslim student organization member (affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood) and revealed her true anti-Israel stance. Many of us are not aware of how radicalized some of our American Muslim students are. Watch the video HERE.

A professor at the University of Michigan refused to recommend student study in Israel, not because of the academic flaws of the student but because of the supposed "flaws" of the Jewish State and his BDS pledge. Please read and let the U of M administration know your opinion, HERE.

U.S.-born Ari Fuld, a well-known Israel advocate and activist was stabbed to death 9/16 by a Palestinian terrorist outside a West Bank shopping mall. A friend of Rabbi Ian's brother, who lived on the same street in Beit Shamesh, Fuld was a hero to all. Read a letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post, expaining this random killing, HERE.

Read why Israel should have the Nation-State law, HERE.

The Israel Group, a non-profit fighting BDS, is demanding that the LA school district cease holding workshops promoting BDS and discrimination against Israel. The group publicized their findings of the 2017 workshop, finding that the material presented was a one-sided official condemnation of core Jewish religious beliefs and right of self-determination. Read about it HERE.

UCLA will host the Students for Justice in Palestine annual conference in November, whose mission is to "remind us that Zionism is not an insurmountable force...We can have hope that Zionism... can be destroyed." This rhetoric contributes to hostile and violent attitudes toward Jewish students on campuses throughout the US. Sign a petition demanding that UCLA adhere to its commitment to "mutual respect, equality and inclusion," and halt its compliance in fueling anti-Semitism in college settings, HERE.

Why are Palestinian refugees different from aother refugees? Read about the lunacy of the UNRWA HERE.

Watch a short and effective video about Hamas, painting a not-so-pretty picture for Palestinian inhabitants, HERE.

Urge your congressman to vote for the US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, ensuring Israel has the means necessary to defend itself HERE.

Linda Sarsour warned Muslims against "humanizing" Israelis. Read about her speech at ISNA HERE.

Read an article by Rabbi Marc Gellman of the GodSquad on the mystery of blessings, HERE.

Read the latest article from Cold Spring Harbor's Judy Davis, " Has Israel Betrayed American Jews?" HERE.

CAIR, the Council of American Islamic Relations, has published its 2018 Civil Rights Report, finding an increase in Islamophobic incidents across the US. Ironically, the author of the report is herself a conspiracy bigot and anti-Semite. Read about it HERE.

Is British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite? Seems so... Read the evidence HERE.

Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu recently visited his ancestral home of Vilna, Lithuania with his wife, and reflected on his visit HERE.

 

 

 

Although some argue that Jews are the alien population to Palestine, implanted by the British, in fact, Jews are the indigenous population in this area based on historical and genetic documentation. It is the Palestinians, however, who are there as a result of converts from those indigenous pre-modern Jews and Christians who submitted to Islam, Muslim invaders, and Arab immigrants. Read about it HERE. 

Learn the proper protocol to handle Palestinian activists on campuses as exemplified by Georgetown University HERE.

A video about all the wonderful aid Israel provides worldwide, that will bring a tear to your eyes HERE.

 

 

Buy Chai, Double Chai and larger multiples–– now available for gift purchase


(Click HERE to purchase)

 

Contact Us

The East Northport Jewish Center
328 Elwood Road
East Northport, NY, 11731  

Phone: 631-368-6474
Fax: 631-266-2910
Religious School Office: 631-368-6474

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Religious School: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CONGREGANT PORTAL

 

        

Upcoming Events

healthcare jobs washington dc

levitra uk

atrium pharmacy

doxycycline online

harmony korine drugs

levaquin online

prescription medication for leg cramps

buy tetracycline online

pills for a bigger booty

buy azithromycin online

metanx prescription

viagra

priority health insurance

dapoxetine uk online

google android 2.2 tablet

phentermine 37.5 mg

i need a doctor song

adderall online without a prescription

water pill for high blood pressure

lorazepam online

naturopathic doctor schools

ostaa viagra