In this week’s Torah portion, we are introduced to the priestly blessing.

The L‑rd spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is how you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them: “May the L‑rd bless you and watch over you. May the L‑rd cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you. May the L‑rd raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace.”1

The first time the priest​ly ​blessing was pronounced was the day that the Tabernacle was inaugurated. Since that time, the Kohanim continue to bless the congregation (outside of Israel, on every holiday), creating a channel for Divine favor.

As we listen to their blessing (before their last words), we recite our own personal prayer asking to be healed of negative dreams:

Master of the Universe! I am yours and my dreams are yours. I have dreamed a dream and I do not know what it is. May it be Your will that all my dreams concerning myself and concerning anyone of Israel shall be for good. … If they are good dreams, strengthen and reinforce them. But if they require healing, heal them. … As you have transformed the curse of the wicked Bilaam from a curse to a blessing, so shall you transform all my dreams concerning myself and concerning all of Israel to good…

Why do we use such an opportune moment to pray for dreams that are considered meaningless?

Conceptually, every one of us is a dreamer.

We dream about our goals and aspirations, and about savoring our successes and cherished hopes. We dream, too, about what we don’t want our life to become. We look towards our future wondering if our dreams will materialize. Sometimes, perhaps we even question which of our ambitions have real merit; would life truly be better if all our dreams were realized?

Perhaps this is the deeper message in the prayer about our dreams said while the Kohanim chant their blessings.

Standing opposite the priests, we face our innermost soul, ready to re-evaluate our life’s dreams, expectations and values. In this moment of candor, we pray:

I have dreamed a dream and I do not know what it is.

May we be granted the wisdom to dream good dreams—positive and meaningful ambitions, hopes and desires that will truly promote our growth and welfare.

If they are good dreams, strengthen and reinforce them…

Help us to realize those good dreams and visions; strengthen and reinforce them.

But if they require healing, heal them…

But heal those dreams that are unhealthy or unrealistic. Remedy our perspective if it is distorted or confused. Focus our values, yearnings and aspirations to help us find the right path in life.

Dreams are such a significant part of being human. Let us continue to dream, hope and aspire. But only those dreams that are valuable, favorable and constructive—for us and for all of Israel.

And the congregation answers: Amen!