This week in Parashat Nasocjfunerals2stg
This week in Parashat Naso, the priests are instructed how to bless the people. The blessing translates to:
May YHVH bless you and keep you;
May YHVH make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
May YHVH lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
In 1979 at a dig in a place called Kettef Hinnom in Jerusalem, archaeologist Gabi Barkai and a group of students were digging in a 1st Temple period grave. All of a sudden, one student showed Barkai that he had found small silver scrolls, and after much deciphering, the team realized that this text was none other than the Priestly Blessing. This incredible discovery is proof of the longest existing Jewish text that is still in use today; a blessing we read in this parsha, a blessing we say today and a blessing that is proved to have been said by our ancestors dating all the way back to the 1st Temple.
On this holiday of Shavuot, it is extremely special to have such a connection, be it spiritual, archaeological or otherwise, to our living Torah.
May our traditions, texts and people-hood continue to support us. Shabbat shalom, Gut Yuntif and Chag Shavuot Sameach!