-4

I am not sure if it is just me, but it seems that there is never a melodious chanting of birchas kohanim, but rather is always a mixture of many toneless voices, as if they are tone-deaf. Is this for a reason? Do others share this experience? Should a kohen not sing more melodiously than the others? In Ten Minute Halacha - Looking at Hands of Kohanim During Birchas Kohanim Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz brings down sources that say that the reason not to look at their hands is because maybe there are blemishes of some sort on their hands and it would be embarrassing for them. Maybe this is a similar reason? That is, to not embarrass kohanim who do not have a good voice? Practical application: Would it be improper for someone to think they know better than everyone else and show off their voice, because really they aren't supposed to sing like that? Does that person deserve rebuke, or are they doing a good thing?

  • 2
    Why was I downvoted?? I was asking a sincere question! – Sam Aug 20 at 15:18
  • 6
    You say, " it seems that there is never a melodious chanting of birchas kohanim, but rather is always a mixture of many toneless voices" but that is just your personal perception based on your limited experience. Try asking about whether there is any halachic basis for not being overly melodious in presentation instead of accusing kohanim of having voices that don't live up to your personal standards. – rosends Aug 20 at 15:45
1

I understand that not all Kohanim (or anyone else) have the most beautiful and melodious voices, but I believe that you are missing the whole point in focusing on this alone. It's the words and deed which matter most, not the voice they come from.

I have seen people pray and sing with the upmost beauty and fervor. Not because they possessed the voice of David HaMelekh, but because they possessed the same passion and devotion as him.

I didn't downvote you, but I understand both yourself and those who did. It's not that your question isn't sincere, it's simply that it's matter is not of great importance.

Peace and blessings brother!

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Really where I was coming from in asking the question was: would it be improper for someone to think they are better than everyone else and show off their voice, when really they aren't supposed to sing like that? – Sam Aug 20 at 15:55
  • I get you, but I think it's probably just the sound of their voice. Perhaps there is a reason depending upon the community, but I have heard Kohanim with the voice of angels before. So perhaps it is more so the individuals voice, than any custom. – עמנואל-העבד Aug 20 at 16:08
  • Indeed we should never show off though, especially in religious matters. I remember being rebuked for wearing white on Shabbat (for Kabbalistic reasons) when I was younger. This wasn't because any sin, in fact there is great merit in it, rather because it made me stand out and "show off" to everyone else. – עמנואל-העבד Aug 20 at 16:12
  • 1
    Should this not be a comment? – Dov Aug 20 at 16:59
  • @Dov I assume you mean my answer. I didn't have enough reputation to comment everywhere just yet, so I had to use the means I had haha. – עמנואל-העבד Aug 20 at 17:03
1

The singing is meant to mark time while the congregants say the prayers in the siddur. (On Shabbos, when those prayers are not said, the singing is omitted.) The Kohanim are trying to mainly stay together and keep a standard pace that will allow the congregation to finish, not put on a show. So if the singing sounds more functional than usual synagogue singing, that is because it is.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .