Hot answers tagged birchas-kohanim
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 ...
A possible answer to your first question is that it's a blessing to each person individually from God. It's not a group blessing. Also the blessing is for each person listening. The blessing is talking to you personally. I asked one of my teachers why the gender is not changed for a girl and he answered me that one should not change it. It's a passuk from ...
The nusach hab'racha to "bless His nation Israel with love" is stated in Sotah (39a) by Rabbi Zeira in the name of Rav Chisda. The Zohar (Naso, 147b) writes that a kohein who blesses is required to have fond feelings towards the congregation. This is based on a similar teaching to that of the gemara (ibid. 38b, quoted in Gershon's answer) that "someone ...
Sotah 38: discusses Birchas Kohanim and then goes on to say that we do not give the Kos Shel Bracha only to one with a good eye. אמר ר' יהושע בן לוי: אין נותנים כוס של ברכה לברך אלא לטוב עין שנאמר: טוב עין הוא יבורך, אל תקרי יבורך אלא יברך Maharsha explains on this how Birchas Kohanim is supposed to be done B'Ahava = good eye.
Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible