Shabbat Parashat Nasso Bonding Through Blessing

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us for services this Friday evening and this Shabbat morning as we celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Aliyah Stupar! Mazal Tov to Aliyah and to her entire family!

A bat mitzvah is a very significant “moment” of blessing in the lives of Jewish people. Whether it is our personal friend or relative who is celebrating becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, or simply another Jewish person celebrating a special “moment” in time – it is a very special blessing for each and every one of us!

Our weekly Torah portion includes a particular blessing that most of us have heard recited by parents on Friday nights just before Kiddush, or by the rabbi blessing the bar or bat mitzvah, or at a Jewish wedding, or during a Shabbat morning service in synagogues where the Kohanim [Priests] recite the Birkat HaKohanim [the Priestly Blessing]. And, you may have heard this blessing referred to as: “The Threefold Blessing” because it includes the following three blessings, all rolled into one:

“May the Lord bless and protect you.

May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you.

May the Lord bestow favor upon you and grant you peace.”

There are those who say that the threefold blessing refers to three levels of blessing: material blessing, intellectual blessing, and spiritual blessing. This is a wonderful midrashic interpretation of the blessing.

While we may not understand everything about the plain meaning of the threefold blessing, it is clear from the structure of the blessing that peace is considered to be the ultimate blessing.

What is even clearer is that when we take the time and trouble to bless one another, we are taking the time and trouble to form precious bonds of connection and of blessing.

Bonding through blessing is a truly expressive way of encapsulating our caring and compassion for one another – whether it is God who is the ultimate source of blessing, or the priests who conveyed God’s blessing to our people, or the parents who bless the children, or the rabbi who blesses the bar or bat mitzvah – the act of sharing words of blessing is a wonderful way for human beings to bond with one another.

Let us use the power of blessing to enhance our positive connections. And, through our positive connections, may we be privileged to promote greater understanding and lasting peace in the world around us

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror