A Tidbit of Torah Parshat Naso 5784

The Lord bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace.

B’midbar / Numbers 6:26

The K’tav Sofer (1) begins his commentary to our verse, the third and final passage of Birkat Kohanim, the priestly blessing, by citing Midrash Rabbah on the Book of Numbers which states:

Peace when you enter, peace when you depart, and peace with all people.

Our teacher joins this to a statement in the Talmud, Berachot 59a, which is part of a discussion about the meanings of dreams.

One who sees a tray in his dream should anticipate peace. One who sees a river in his dream should anticipate peace. One who sees a bird in his dream should anticipate peace.

The K’tav Sofer explains that the sages are teaching us that there are three types of peace, each symbolized by one of the elements manifested in the dreams. The tray represents Shalom Bayit, harmony and tranquility in the home with everyone eating together and sharing from a single tray, a home abundant with physical and spiritual nourishment.

The river represents Shalom Ba-m’dinah, peace and security in the country, with the river running its course, connecting citizens and distributing goods and services to all inhabitants. Finally, the bird, which flies from place to place in the world, represents Shalom Ba-olam, peace in the world.

This, the K’tav Sofer asserts, is how the teaching in Midrash Rabbah applies to the Kohanic prayer that one be blessed by God with peace; Shalom Bayit when in the family setting, Shalom Ba-m’dinah when you are out in the community and engaged with daily activities, and Shalom Ba-olam, a world of cooperation, coexistence, and concord.

May we see these dreams and these blessings be speedily fulfilled.

Shabbat Shalom –

Rabbi David M. Eligberg


1 Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, also known by the title of his main work Ktav Sofer (Writ of the Scribe), was born on March 13, 1815, in Pressburg, Kingdom of Hungary, what is today, Bratislava, Slovakia. The Ktav Sofer was one of the preeminent rabbis of Hungarian Jewry in the second half of the nineteenth century and served as the Rosh Yeshiva of the Pressburg Yeshiva. Rabbi Sofer died on December 31, 1871, at the age of 56 and was succeeded as the Rabbi of Pressburg by his son Simcha Bunim.