May 21, 2018 ~ Shabbat NASO. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Naso

The Priestly Blessing

כה תברכו את בני ישראל - In 1979, at the Ketef Hinnom archaeological site, southwest of Jerusalem, two silver scrolls, containing the earliest known biblical text (circa 650-587 BCE), were discovered. These scrolls, originally used as amulets, contained Paleo-Hebrew inscriptions of the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26). Finding these specific words is highly significant, because it sheds light on the core beliefs of the Ancient Israelites during the First Temple period. It shows Israel to be a nation which relies on God as their source of physical blessing (יברכך) and security (וישמרך). It also shows that Israel sees God as their source of spiritual light (יאר) and charming character traits (ויחנך). Lastly, it views God as the ultimate remedy against depression by raising spirits during difficult times (ישא) and by providing (וישם) everyone (לך) with the feeling of inner peace (שלום). Beth Torah Bulletin, June 3, 2017.