According to many mainstream authorities, the widespread practice of Ashkenazic Kohanim outside of Israel of refraining from birchas kohanim is a minhag ta'us and possibly even forbidden biblically as a bittul aseh (annulment of a positive commandment). If an individual kohen wishes to be accommodate these views without causing a conflict with the congregation in which he is praying, are there any problems with his reciting birchas kohanim discretely, e.g. quietly, in his place, and omitting the customary hand configuration?

  • "possibly even forbidden biblically as a bittul aseh" Source? I don't think anyone thinks it's a bittul aseh. How could that be if no one calls them up to dukhen? Are Kohanim who can't make it to minyan in Israel mevattel an aseh Deorayta? No way
    – Double AA
    Jun 14, 2017 at 21:48
  • @DoubleAA I believe the Rambam in his koteres to hilchos tefilla says it is a daily obligation. So, at the very least, a kohen who has not yet fulfilled his obligation, e.g. at a mincha by shekia, would be potentially committing a bitul aseh.
    – Loewian
    Jun 14, 2017 at 21:50
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    – msh210
    Jun 17, 2017 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


It would at least be a waste of time since holding up the arms and reciting the blessing aloud are required (ShA OC 128:14). In any event so long as no one called him up to bless, he isn't violating anything (ibid. :2).

  • 1
    ayin beer hetiv which sounds like might not be so clear that lchol hadeyos those requirements are l'ikuva b'dieved : sefaria.org/…
    – Loewian
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:35
  • (Though MB sounds like you: sefaria.org/… )
    – Loewian
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:38
  • (...and sefaria.org/… and sefaria.org/…)
    – Loewian
    Jun 15, 2017 at 19:08
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    From the lashon harambam at least, it's hard to say they're any more meakev than the shem hameforash - since it's from the same derasha - which is omitted when there's such a need - and without eliminating birchas kohanim entirely: sefaria.org/…
    – Loewian
    Jun 15, 2017 at 19:21

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