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11

The Ben Ish Hai Year 1 Parashat Tetzaveh brings a Machloket as to whether the correct method is as Maran describes in the Shulhan Arukh or whether it is according to the AriZal(Sha'ar HaKavvanot 40A Pri Eitz Haim sha'ar 10 chapter 4) that states that the hands are supposed to be at the sides of the head. The Ben Ish Hai concludes that the hands should be ...


10

Arms at shoulder length Palms toward the ground Right hand a drop above the left 5 windows are created: splitting the hand between 2 fingers and 2 fingers makes a window on each hand; splitting between the forefinger and the thumb makes another window on each hand. You now have 4 windows with each hand looking like Mr. Spock's. The 5th window is created ...


9

Shulchan Aruch O.C. Siman 128 discuses the qualifications of a Cohen to recite bircas kohanim. Disqualification include having consumed too much alcohol, having a severe speech impediment, blindness, having taken a human life, having married a disqualifying wife (such as a divorcee) and the recent death of a close relation. The Shulchan Aruch (Sif 39) writes ...


9

They are indeed disqualifications for serving in the Beis Hamikdash (Rambam, Hil. Bias Mikdash 8:1,11). This doesn't apply to birkas kohanim, though; there, a kohen is disqualified only by blemishes that are visible and will distract the congregation. (And even then, not if everyone in town is already familiar with him and his physical defects, or in places ...


8

A man who has undergone a vasectomy is most likely in the category of Petzua Daka (crushed testicles) who is forbidden to marry a regular Jewess per Devarim 23:2 (although this might depend on the specific medical technique used). (See Shulchan Aruch EH 5:8,10.) The Talmud (Yevamot 76a) discusses whether a Kohein who is a Petzua Dakah can marry a convert. ...


6

If you mean technical ritual impurity (tum'ah) - then that's not an issue; all Jews nowadays are presumed tamei (and if they live in the Diaspora, then they are impure anyway, since all places outside of Eretz Yisrael are tamei by Rabbinical decree). If you mean that he feels unworthy - that's not a good reason to not perform birkas kohanim; that would ...


6

Sure! The Rama recommends saying it every day (for those who don't say the full Birkat Kohanim every day) after the in lieu prayer. Shulchan Aruch OC 130:1


6

A friends of mine who is a Kohen told me that he once ended up in Washington Heights for Yom Tov and showed up at Breuer's (German minhag) on Yom Tov morning. The Gabbai asked him if he was a Kohen, and after answering affirmatively, the Gabbai sighed, and called over another Kohen to give him a quick lesson in how the tune goes. Apparently, in addition to ...


5

The Rambam addresses your concern directly, in Hilkhot Birkat Cohanim, chapter 15, law 7: ואל תתמה ותאמר, ומה תועיל ברכת הדיוט זה--שאין קיבול הברכה תלוי בכוהנים, אלא בהקדוש ברוך הוא: שנאמר 'ושמו את שמי, על בני ישראל; ואני, אברכם' --הכוהנים עושים מצוה שנצטוו בה, והקדוש ברוך הוא ברחמיו מברך את ישראל כחפצו "Do not be perplexed and say, 'What ...


5

I'm not sure the Elya Rabba really has a 'position'. He writes (669:20): פה פראג נוהגים לעלות במוסף, רק בבית הכנסת פנחס נוהגים בשחרית כמ"ש המנהגים [הל' שמיני עצרת]:‏ Here in Prague the custom is to go up at Musaf, except in the Pinchas Synagogue they only go up at Shacharit. He is just observing the custom in the different synagogues in his town. ...


5

The Gemara (Shabbos 138b) prohibits wearing a סיאנא (Rashi: a kind of felt hat) that has a brim a tefach or more wide, but says that it's not a problem for a person to let a tefach or more of his tallis protrude in front of his head. R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi (in Orach Chaim 301:48) summarizes the three opinions on the subject. If the material is soft and ...


5

If he washed his hands that morning and knows definitely that he hasn't touched any unclean parts of his body, then he can get away without another washing, if there is indeed no water available (Mishnah Berurah 128:20 citing Rambam). Otherwise, though, he does need to wash, and can't do birkas kohanim otherwise (R' Yehoshua ben Levi in Sotah 39a; Shulchan ...


4

If I'm reading Shulchan Aruch 128:20, 22, 25, with Mishna B'rura, correctly, the rule is as follows. But contact your local, orthodox rabbi for any practical cases. Is the shatz (leader, "chazan") the only kohen, or are there others? If he's the only one, and he has a sidur, he should step toward the duchan at "r'tze", go on the duchan for ...


4

Rema (Orach Chaim 128:44) says that since the point of the Ashkenazic custom to limit Birkas Kohanim to Yom Tov is so that the blessing should be given in a joyous frame of mind, then it is done only at Musaf, since then people are especially happy at the impending prospect of the Yom Tov meal. (Yom Kippur, of course, is the exception. I believe there are ...


4

According to the Rambam Hil. Tefillah 1:2, Tefillah ends with hoda'ah, gratitude, not a request to grant peace. Bakashos, requests, are in the middle of the tefillah. My Rav gave a shiur based on the above, plus the idea of bircas kohanim following avodah (Shmini 9:22) (and other sources), that sim shalom is a distinct part of tefillah specially instituted ...


4

The prohibition seems to refer only to the time that birkas kohanim is actually taking place (Shulchan Aruch - Orach Chayim 128:23) and to serve the purpose of allowing the onlookers to maintain focus on being the object of blessing by standing at attention and looking down. Though one should always COLOR, this would imply that watching a video would not ...


4

Orach Chaim 128:19 "Chazan does not say Amen after the Kohanim say the Beracha". Be'er Hataiv 34 says "that this is even the case if the Chazan is sure he will not get mixed up". Be'er Hataiv says further "that this is only on the Pesukim not on the original Beracha where there everyone says he should say Amen". However the Mishna Berura 71 says that if he ...


4

It's based on the Zohar Nasso 146b and is noted as an old minhag in both Ashkenaz and Sefarad by the Beit Yosef (OC 128). In the Shulchan Aruch he codifies this practice in OC 128:6. It seems the reasoning in the Zohar is that the Kohanim need to somehow up their kedusha level by washing as a preparation for the blessing, and by having a Levi, who has his ...


4

I have had this same question for some time, and in addition to the answer that paquda provided, I have come across the following answer, although it doesn't satisfy me that much. The source for mentioning dreams comes from the Gemara in Berachos 55b האי מאן דחזא חלמא ולא ידע מאי חזא, ליקום קמי כהני בעידנא דפרסי ידייהו The Soncino translation: If ...


3

Cohanim are supposed to "go up" to duchen. Many shuls and shtibels in Israel do not have steps leading up the the Aaron HaKodesh. So how do the Cohanim "go up"? At the Kosel they used to have tiny "one man" platforms for this. (I haven't seem them recently, but I haven't been there for Shachris in many years.) A mat or carpet would serve the same purpose; ...


3

Yalkut Shim'oni, parashat Naso, remez taf shin yud, expounds Song of Songs verses 3:7-8 in relation to birkat cohanim: Behold, it is the bed of Solomon; sixty mighty men are about it, of the mighty men of Israel. They all handle the sword, and are expert in war; every man hath his sword upon his thigh, because of dread in the night. The sixty mighty ...


3

The Mechaber rules (OC 65:1) that if someone pauses in the middle of a mitzva an amount of time in which he could have performed the entire mitzva (henceforth: a long pause) he does not have to start over with the exception of Tefillah (ie Shmoneh Esrei) where one would have to go back. The Rama rules that for deoraita requirements, one would have to go back ...


3

Textual variants other than Nusach Ashkenaz simply have the text sim shalom. In Nusach Ashkenaz, it appears that the lengthy sim shalom was intended for prayers at which Birkat Kohanim (which concludes with "may G-d grant you peace") could be said; and an abridged version, shalom rav, at prayers where it couldn't. (At night, as well as afternoons as often ...


3

The Sefer Darash Av volume 4 http://hebrewbooks.org/2985 says as follows. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=2985&st=&pgnum=20&hilite= There is a Medrash in Breishis Rabba 43 that says מהיכן זכו ישראל לברכת כהנים ר׳ יהודה ור׳ נחמיה ורבנן רי״א מאברהם כה יהיה זרעך כה תברכו את בני ישראל, ר׳ נחמיה אומר מיצחק שנאמר ואני והנער נלכה עד ...


3

Sifri (to Num. 6:23) says that the Torah's expression אמור להם means that they can't start "until [the chazzan] says to them." Rambam (Hil. Birkas Kohanim 14:3) understands this to mean that he has to prompt them word by word. The underlying reason, it seems from Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 128:13) and commentaries, is so that the kohanim don't get confused ...


3

Tha Rama in Orach Chaim Siman 128 says we do not do Nesias Kapayim as we are only in proper Simcha on Yom Tov. During the rest of the year, even on Shabbos we are worried about our sustanance and our work. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14164&st=&pgnum=18


3

The Gemara simply talks about a kohen washing hands. It's the Zohar that says a Levi should do it. If no Levi is available, the job is given to a firstborn; if no firstborn is available, the kohen just washes his own hands. I strongly suspect that if the Levi doesn't want to do it, just ignore him and go find a firstborn. (Conflict-of-interest disclaimer ...


2

The Sephardic mesora is that the Sha"tz who is a Kohen covers his eyes and stays silent for the duration of the prayer, as he is essentially taking himself out of the room. Then a non-Kohen calls out "Kohanim!" and leads the entire Birkat Kohanim. I am not sure what happens when the sha"tz is the ONLY Kohen in the room. He probably says the "Barekhenu ...


2

According to Bechoros 43a-b, (in agreement with Alex) Leviticus 21:21 says "any man of the seed of Aron the Priest that hath a blemish shall not draw near..." We learn from this passuk that there are two types of blemishes which make a Kohen unfit for service in the Beis Hamikdash: any physical blemish that would render a Bechor unfit, and anything which ...


2

It seems from the language of the Shulchan Aruch 129:1 that the omission is dependent on the mincha service, not the time. In addition to shacharis, musaf and neilah, the SA allows bircas kohanim at mincha on a fast day based on 2 factors. Firstly, the custom [was] to daven late on fast days and so the mincha service takes on a similarity to a neila ...



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