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Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 129 - Prayer Services during which Priestly Blessing is Conferred

Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 129 - Prayer Services during which Priestly Blessing is Conferred

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SECTION 129 The Prayer Services during which the Priestly Blessing is Conferred. (1-2)

קכט בְּאֵיזֶה תְּפִלּוֹת נוֹשְׂאִים כַּפַּיִם וּבוֹ ב' סְעִיפִים:

1 The Priestly Blessing is conferred1 only during the Morning and Mussaf Services, and also during the Neilah Service2 on a day, such as Yom Kippur, on which there is a Neilah Service.3 It is not conferred during the Afternoon Service,4 for it is common for people to be intoxicated at that time and there is room for concern that a kohen might be intoxicated.5

They [extended this] decree to the Afternoon Service of Yom Kippur and other communal fast days that have a Neilah Service,6 as explained in sec. 579,7 even though there is no concern regarding intoxication on these days, as a [safeguard] ordained [to forestall the possibility of error] involving the Afternoon Service of other days.8 [The rationale is that] on a day on which there is a Neilah Service, the Afternoon Service takes place well before sunset, so that the Neilah Service may be started before sunset. [The Afternoon Service of such a day] may thus be confused with that of other days, for it would customarily be recited well before sunset out of consideration for those people who desired to eat afterwards,9 because it is forbidden to eat before the Afternoon Service, as stated in sec. 232.10

On a fast day that has no Neilah Service, by contrast, since the Afternoon Service is recited close to sunset,11 it resembles the Neilah Service and will not be confused with the Afternoon Service of other days. Hence the Priestly Blessing is conferred12 in that service.13

א אֵין נְשִׂיאַת כַּפַּיִם1 אֶלָּא בְּשַׁחֲרִית וּמוּסָף וּנְעִילָהא,2 בְּיוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ נְעִילָה3 כְּגוֹן בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, אֲבָל לֹא בְּמִנְחָה,ב,4 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַשִּׁכְרוּת מְצוּיָה בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה וְשֶׁמָּא יִהְיֶה הַכֹּהֵן שִׁכּוֹר.ג,5

וְגָזְרוּ בְּמִנְחָה שֶׁל יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִיםד וּשְׁאָר תַּעֲנִית צִבּוּר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן נְעִילָה6 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תקע"טה,7 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם חֲשַׁשׁ שִׁכְרוּת, גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם מִנְחָה שֶׁל שְׁאָר יָמִים,ו,8 לְפִי שֶׁבְּיוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ נְעִילָה מִתְפַּלְלִים מִנְחָה בְּעוֹד הַיוֹם גָּדוֹלז כְּדֵי לְהַתְחִיל נְעִילָה קֹדֶם שְׁקִיעַת הַחַמָּה וּמִתְחַלֶּפֶת הִיא בְּמִנְחָה שֶׁל שְׁאָר יָמִים, שֶׁהָיוּ נוֹהֲגִים לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּעוֹד הַיוֹם גָּדוֹל מִפְּנֵי אוֹתָם שֶׁרוֹצִים לֶאֱכֹל אַחַר כָּךְ,ח,9 שֶׁאָסוּר לֶאֱכֹל קֹדֶם תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר סִימָן רל"ב.ט,10

אֲבָל בְּתַעֲנִית שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם נְעִילָה, הוֹאִיל וּתְפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה הוּא סָמוּךְ לִשְׁקִיעַת הַחַמָּה11 – הִיא דּוֹמָה לִתְפִלַּת נְעִילָה וְאֵינָהּ מִתְחַלֶּפֶת בְּמִנְחָה שֶׁל שְׁאָר הַיָּמִים, לְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ בָּהּ13 נְשִׂיאַת כַּפַּיִם:י,12

2 If a kohen wrongly ascended14 the dais to bless the people during the Afternoon Service of Yom Kippur, since it is known that no one will be intoxicated, he should confer the Priestly Blessing. He should not be told to return to his place15 lest suspicion arise and it be said that his priestly lineage was faulty, and that was why he was told to go down. For this reason, it is customary in these countries to recite the passage beginning Elokeinu v’Elokei Avoseinu, barcheinu in the Afternoon Service on Yom Kippur, even though it is only recited at a time appropriate for the recitation of the Priestly Blessing. [The rationale is that] since if [a kohen] would ascend the dais, he would not descend but would deliver the blessing, that service is considered as somewhat appropriate for conferring the Priestly Blessing.

ב כֹּהֵן שֶׁעָבַר וְעָלָה14 לַדּוּכָן בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בְּמִנְחָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵין שָׁם שִׁכְרוּת – הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹשֵׂא כַּפָּיו וְאֵין מוֹרִידִין אוֹתוֹ,15 מִפְּנֵי הַחֲשָׁד שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ פָּסוּל הוּא וּלְכָךְ הוֹרִידוּהוּ.יא וְלָכֵן נוֹהֲגִים בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ לוֹמַר "אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בָּרְכֵנוּ כו'" בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בְּמִנְחָה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אוֹמְרִים אֶלָּא בִּזְמַן הָרָאוּי לִנְשִׂיאַת כַּפַּיִם,יב מִכָּל מָקוֹם הוֹאִיל וְאִם עָלָה לֹא יֵרֵד וְנוֹשֵׂא כַּפָּיו – נִקְרָא קְצָת רָאוּי לִנְשִׂיאַת כַּפַּיִם:יג

Footnotes
1.
Throughout the original text, this opening phrase is rendered by either of two idioms — “raising the hands” or “ascending the dais.” On the sources and background of these terms, see sec. 128, footnotes 2 and 19 above.
2.
See sec. 128:1. Sec. 128:57 explains the Ashkenazic custom of reciting the Priestly Blessing only on festivals.
3.
The Alter Rebbe writes in sec. 623:8 that it is Ashkenazic custom not to confer the blessing during that late-Afternoon Service, because shelichei tzibbur often draw it out with melodies, and the Priestly Blessing may be recited only by day. This safeguard is maintained even when the Neilah Service is held before sunset.
4.
Except for those (such as on his hands and face) that might distract the attention of the congregants. See subsection 44 above.
5.
In which instance he is forbidden to recite the Priestly Blessing (128:51).
6.
Here the intent is not only the familiar Neilah Service of Yom Kippur, but also to the Neilah Service with which a communal fast day used to culminate in Talmudic times (see Kuntreis HaShulchan). This term does not refer to the annual commemorative fast days such as the Seventeenth of Tammuz and Tishah BeAv, but to fast days ordained by the Rabbis because of communal distress, such as drought or war (see Rambam, Hilchos Taaniyos 1:1ff.). On those fast days, an additional service of supplication, Neilah, is added to the three regular prayer services (Rambam, Hilchos Tefillah 1:7). See also sec. 129:1 below.

With regard to the recitation of the Priestly Blessing during Neilah on Yom Kippur, see sec. 623:8, in the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur volume of the present Bilingual Edition of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, and the footnotes there.
7.
This section is not extant in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch. See the end of the corresponding section of the Tur.
8.
Taanis 26b.
9.
I.e., after Minchah but before sunset, so that they would not be forced to delay their meal later, because it would then be forbidden to eat before the Evening Service, as stated in the Shulchan Aruch of R. Yosef Caro, sec. 235:2.
10.
This section is not extant in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch. The Shulchan Aruch of R. Yosef Caro, sec. 232:2, concludes that this refers to the time known as Minchah Ketanah, which extends from 2 1/2 seasonal hours before sunset until sunset. The concept is also mentioned in sec. 286:5 and 291:2 of the present work.
11.
Since eating is forbidden, there is no need to recite it earlier.
12.
Though not by a kohen who is not fasting (Pri Chadash 129:1). He should leave the synagogue, as stated in sec. 128:5 above.
13.
Taanis 26b.
14.
Lit., “transgressed and ascended.”
15.
Lit., “to descend.”
Sources
א.
ראה לעיל סי' קכח ס"א וש"נ.
ב.
תענית כו, ב. טור ושו"ע ס"א.
ג.
דאסור בנ"כ כדלעיל סי' קכח סנ"א.
ד.
תוס' שם ד"ה והאידנא. רא"ש תענית פ"ד סי' לא. ר"ן תענית ט, רע"ב. טור ושו"ע שם. וראה גם לקמן סי' תרכב ס"ו.
ה.
סי' זה בשוע"ר לא הגיע לידינו. וראה טור שם סוף הסי'.
ו.
גמ' שם. טור ושו"ע שם.
ז.
תוס' שם. טור שם. לבוש ס"א.
ח.
ר"ן שם ע"א ד"ה אלא. הובא במ"א ס"ק ב.
ט.
סי' זה בשוע"ר לא הגיע לידינו. וראה טור ושו"ע שם ס"ב. וראה גם לקמן סי' רפו ס"ה. סי' רצא ס"ב. וראה קיצור הלכות משו"ע אדה"ז (מילואים ב לסי' רצא, ע' צא).
י.
גמ' שם. טור ושו"ע שם.
יא.
רמב"ם הל' תפלה פי"ד ה"ב. טור ושו"ע ס"ב.
יב.
כדלעיל סי' קכא ס"ג וש"נ.
יג.
הגהות מיימוניות פט"ו מהל' תפלה (דפוס קושטא) בטעם הראבי"ה יומא סי' תקל (וראה גם הגהות מיימוניות נוסח ברכות התפלה אות א). רמ"א שם. וראה גם לקמן סי' תרכב ס"ו.
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