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Practical Info

When is the Blessing Administered?
On which dates and during which prayers is the blessing administered?
A blessing must be conferred with a joyful heart, hence the prevailing custom in the Diaspora to relegate the Birkat Kohanim to the major holidays.
Preparing for the Blessing
How the priests prepare themselves for the blessing
Washing the kohanim’s hands, the removal of shoes, and the pre-blessing prayer.
The Priestly Blessing
A step-by-step guide leading the priest through the blessing
The fingers are positioned in a manner which leaves five “windows” through which G‑d’s blessings flow to the congregation . . .
Role of the Congregation
What does the congregation do during the blessing?
The congregation should face the Kohanim as they are being blessed—it isn’t respectful to turn one’s back (or side) to a blessing—but should not gaze at them.
Various Laws Pertaining to the Kohen
What does the priest think during the blessing? Does a child priest join the blessing? And more . . .
A crucial prerequisite to Birkat Kohanim is mutual love and respect between the kohanim and the congregation . . .
In Lieu of the Blessing
Remembering the priestly blessing in our everyday communal prayers
What if no kohen is present? And what about those prayers when the Priestly Blessing is not administered?
Birkat Kohanim Melody
One of the traditional melodies for the priestly blessing
This wonderful, inspiring tune for Birkat Kohanim originates with the famed “kapelye” (musical group) of the second Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber.
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