June 4, 2020 / 12 Sivan, 5780 • Parshat Naso
Issue 617
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

This is how you must bless the Israelites:
Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: 'This is how you must bless the Israelites. Say to them:

Bemidbar 6:23

Our Sages teach us that each person's fate for the coming year is decided on the Rosh Hashanah of that year. Why, then, do we pray each day? And what can the blessings of the priests help if our fate has been decided?

The answer can be found in another saying of our Sages: "each person is judged every day." Even though our yearly allotment of Divine beneficence has been determined on Rosh Hashanah, this beneficence must descend through the many levels of spiritual reality before it reaches the physical plane. At each "station" on the way "down," we are judged anew as to whether we deserve to have the beneficence "processed" to the next level.

In contrast, the priestly blessing causes each Jew's allotted measure of Divine kindness to descend swiftly through the myriad levels of reality, bypassing the roadblocks of judgment. We will see later on that after Korach's revolt, G-d demonstrated His choice of the tribe of Levi for the Temple service by causing Aaron's staff to sprout almonds. The significance of almonds is that they blossom swiftly, alluding to this property of the priestly blessing."

--Kehot's Chumash