In the siddur (Full Text), the blessings for Birkat haTorah are immediately followed by passages from the Torah, Mishnah, and Talmud, respectively.

May Hashem bless you and guard you. May Hashem shine His countenance upon you and be gracious unto you. May Hashem turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace. (Bamidbar 6:24)

These are precepts for which no fixed measure is prescribed: [leaving] the corner [of a field unharvested], [the offering of] the first fruits, the appearance-offering, [performing] deeds of kindness, and the study of Torah.(Mishnah Peah 1:1)

These are precepts, the fruits of which man enjoys in this world, [while] the principal [reward] is preserved for him in the World-to-Come. They are: honoring father and mother, [performing] deeds of kindness, early attendance in the House of Study morning and evening, providing hospitality to guests, visiting the sick, participating in making a wedding, accompanying the dead [to the grave], concentrating on the meaning of prayers, making peace between fellow men— and the study of Torah is equal to them all. (Shabbat 127a)

The Artscroll siddur explains the reasoning for the selections from the Mishnah and Talmud. It states that they discuss the reward for various commandments, including Torah study, and that the Talmud passage concludes that Torah study is equal to all.

Based on this explanation, I would expect the passage from the Torah to mention studying Torah. Instead, the verse is taken from the priestly blessing. What is the reasoning that this verse was selected?

  • 1
    Note some customs use various other texts.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 5 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


Here are some reasons brought down:

  1. In the אבודרהם השלם page 48 he says להזכיר ברכתו של ישראל לפני התמידים, we want to mention the bracha of Yisrael before the korban tamid. This is because if tefillah is in place of the Korbanot, then it makes sense that we remember for whom we are going to perform the service.

  2. The Shelah Hakadosh in Sha'ar Hashamyim Page 36 says, the main focus is the Birkat Kohanim, and we only precede it by reciting the Birkat HaTorah 'because it is necessary to recite them before the Birkat Kohanim (this explanation is difficult to accept for several reasons which I won't go into right now).

  3. Rabbi Shimon from Germaiza in his siddur on page 12 and the Machzor Vitri explains that Birkat Kohanim has sixty letters, corresponding to the sixty tractates of Gemera for which we bless for in Birkat Hatorah.

  4. Rabbi Dr.Zev Weiner says, "The selection of these verses cannot be coincidental. The words of Birkat Kohanim describe Gd's endless love for His children and the blessings He wishes to bestow upon them (through the conduit of the Kohen): to "protect" them from harm (6:24), to "illuminate" with His "smiling, radiant countenance" (6:25, Rashi), and to gift them the ultimate blessing, "peace" in all senses of the word. The recitation of these verses before engaging in Torah study reminds us daily that an ultimate purpose of Torah is to enable man to feel G-d's love and experience His blessings. From the very first words of the Torah, which describe how the entire world was created for the sake of man, every letter of the Torah is ultimately a proclamation of how dear man is in the eyes of G-d. If G-d did not love you, He would have no reason to create you or to care about what you do, and He certainly would have no reason to want to bless you. The verses of Birkat Kohanim epitomize this love, and are therefore a most appropriate reminder to set the tone for our study every day of our lives." (see the link for full article)

  5. See here for a long answer:


You must log in to answer this question.

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