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May you be blessed... and protected too

ברכת הכהנים
התמונה מתוך האתר "פרינטס אקטואלי"

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

A singer who rises to fame is likely to change and become arrogant and distant. A young entrepreneur who becomes wealthy can lose his serenity and good character traits. This danger can ambush any of us, even when the success involved is small. Anyone who has some sort of influence can let it go to their head.

On Shabbat we read from the parasha the famous Birkat HaKohanim (priestly blessing) which begins with these words: "May the Lord bless you and protect you."

Rabbi Chaim ben Attar explains in his commentary known as Or HaChaim that the greater the blessing, the greater the need to be protected from its possible negative effects. There is a concern that the blessing itself can cause an excess of pride. An individual can forget where they came from, become confused as to what really matters, and lose everything.

To be blessed with success is not enough. When the blessing comes we need to be especially alert to its excesses and remain humble.

"May the Lord bless you and protect you"; may all of us merit to experience the full measure of the priestly blessing.


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