Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yom Kippur 2014

A custom among many Jewish families on the night preceding Yom Kippur - the holiest, most reflective night of the year - parents invoke the blessing of the high priests as found in the bible and "give" it to their children.
For me it says 'I love you and I hope with all my heart for a happy and prosperous year for you. I just want you to know that.'
In the synagogue service when the high priests say this they raise their hands, put their thumbs together and separate the first and second fingers from the third and fourth - five points for the five books of Moses.
The most important application of this is the blessing invoked by Mr. Spock in Star Trek, who raises one hand in this way (with the V separation) and intones 'live long and prosper.' Leonard Nimoy, Spock's alter ego, is Jewish and introduced this into the series as an adaptation of the priestly blessing. Maybe you did not know that.
Here is the blessing. It is also part of many Christian liturgies.
Then God spoke to Moses and said, Tell Aaron and his sons,
דבר אל אהרן ואל בניו
This is how you are to bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
May God bless you, and keep you;
May God shine his face on you,
And be gracious to you;
May God look at you,
And give you peace.
So they shall invoke my name on the children of Israel, and I shall bless them.
(Numbers 6:22-27)

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