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When I was a kid I always heard that only kohanim are able to do the ๐Ÿ––๐Ÿป hand position on both their hands. Leaving the โ€œb-b-but I can do this and Iโ€™m not a kohenโ€ comments aside, whatโ€™s the deal with this? Any basis in any sources? Old wivesโ€™ tale?

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  • Refer to Shibolei HaLeket, siman 23.
    – Shmuel
    Dec 2, 2023 at 23:22
  • "Can" as in "physically capable", or "can" as in "allowed"?
    – Shalom
    Dec 3, 2023 at 1:12
  • @Shmuel physically Dec 3, 2023 at 4:33
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    I understand you @IsaacMoses and I ask the OP to clarify what he means. If my answer does not answer the OP's question, I delete it :) But this is how I understood it, and I suppose that's what the OP asked for, since he accepted it.
    – Shmuel
    Dec 4, 2023 at 17:06

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The idea behind it, can be found in several places, one of which is the Midrash Rabbah on Shir HaShirim 2:9. It explains that when the Kohanim bless, the Shechinah peers through their fingers so to speak.

Refer also to the Tur in Orach Chaim, siman 128.

The words ืžืฆื™ืฅ ืžืŸ ื”ื—ืจื›ื™ื Meitzitz Min HaCharakim can also be read as "five cracks in the wall", which could mean that you should have five seperations between the fingers.

One space below and between the thumbs, another two spaces between the thumb and second finger of each hand, and another two between the third and fourth finger of each hand (refer to here) (Shibolei HaLeket, siman 23).

The Zohar in Bamidbar 147a writes that for this reason, one should not look at the fingers of the Kohanim, since one should not be impudent towards the Shechinah.

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    Thank you Shmuel! Dec 3, 2023 at 0:01
  • How can Metziz min HaHarakim be read as "five cracks in a wall"? That would be "Hamisha Sdakim BaKir" Dec 3, 2023 at 8:55
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    @user2962533 I think the article said that ื”ื—ืจื›ื™ื is read as ื” ื—ืจื›ื™ื, meaning 5 cracks Dec 3, 2023 at 17:09
  • Mesiss min-ha'charakhim -- Suckling from the voices of those crying out in heaven-tearing yells calling out "Naaanaach!!" Dec 4, 2023 at 8:53
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    @CuriousYid Oh, I see! I love these. Thank you! Dec 5, 2023 at 10:15

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