דרשני:(Naso- Bless you (Binyomin Freilich

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Many times in my life I have made Brochos that begin with the words:בא"י אלוקינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו...   

but I have never concluded the Brocho with the following:בקדושתו של אהרן כו'..... 

Yet, I notice that this Brocho ends with a strange word – וציונו לברך את עמו ישראל באהבה.

Why don”t we say -  על נטילת ידים/לולב באהבה  or perhaps על אכילת מצה באהבה?

I saw a beautiful explanation from the כתב סופר עה"ת.

If we look at the source for this added word, it comes from the Possuk in this weeks Parsha regarding Bircas Cohanim - כה תברכו את בני ישראל אמור להם, where the word אמור is written in full with a letter VOV.

Rashi comments :  לא תברכם בחפזון ובהלות, אלא בכוונה ובלב שלם. A whole hearted Brocho is what the Torah requires of the Cohanim. Totally out of love. Hence, Chazal instituted - באהבה.

Asks the כתב סופר, why would they need to be told this extra condition here? Would you think otherwise? And the answer is – Possibly. In fact, quite probably.

But before we expand on his answer, let me quote another two of his questions:

The Torah introduces the mitzva of Bircas Cohanim with the words – כה תברכו.

Why do we need those words? It doesn’t say – “This” is how you should put on Tefillin or “This” is how you should fulfil שילוח הקן or the Mitzva of כיבוד אב ואם? The Torah normally just tells us “Do the following”?

Furthermore, we don’t really need the word אמור "להם". We know that they are to bless Bnei Yisroel, as it has just written – כה תברכו את בני ישראל ? Let’s see his answer.

You see, the Cohanim used to live off the success of the Jewish People.

If the field produced quality crop, then the Cohanim would enjoy Terumos, Maasros and Bikurim.

If they had sheep, they would get ראשית הגז - the first wool.

If there were healthy animals, the Cohanim would receive meat from Korbonos.

Even animals that are Chulin have parts given to the Cohen, namely the front right leg, tongue and one of the stomachs. {This Halocho still applies today. I’ve done it. When we were learning Chulin/ Shechita in Kollel, we purchased a goat, Shechted it, and gave the מתנות כהונה to Hagaon R’ Gamliel Rabinovitch.}

So it was easy for the Cohen to bless the people with ulterior motives. Had they done this, they would really be blessing themselves. Not what Hashem had intended. The Torah commands them to bless with a full heart for the SOLE benefit of Bnei Yisroel.

So the word באהבה is added into the Brocho to teach the Cohanim to express love totally for the sake of giving to someone else, without expecting anything in return. 

And now we understand why it says אמור להם. Make sure that you are speaking to them and not to yourself.

The truth is, that when they received this commandment, they were living in the wilderness, so the Cohanim didn’t have any ulterior motives because there was no Terumos etc..

The problem only set in, upon entering Eretz Yisroel.

So Hashem added the little word (with so much detail) – כה תברכו. This is how I want you to bless them. With exactly these feelings and intentions of today, shall you bless them too in the future.

An amazing addendum to this thought is added by R’ Moshe Dovid Vaali.  (He lived over 300 years ago, and was a talmid of the Ramchal). He notes that the word for love in French is “Amour” which is the same as אמור! “And don’t be surprised” he writes, “that Torah has connections to other languages, because Loshon Hakodesh is the mother of all languages.

To this idea, adds the sefer נחל אליהו a terrific thought.

Go back another thousand years.  Yaacov Ovinu is instructed by his mother to bring food to his father and claim the Brochos. He is not so keen on going but out of respect for Rivka he concedes. All he wants to do is feed Yitzchok. As they say in the classics - “Yeh Brocho, Nisht Brocho, es macht nisht kein nafka minah”.

There is a magic hint to his intentions in the words of the Torah, in comparison to when Eisav brings his meal to Yitzchok. There we are told - וַיַּעַשׂ גַּם-הוּא מַטְעַמִּים, וַיָּבֵא לְאָבִיו. Look carefully again at the last two words. They can be read backwards. His giving was to get back.

This twist doesn’t work with the possuk referring to Yaacov. There the Torah writes - וַיָּבֹא אֶל-אָבִיו. It’s one way traffic only.

How often do we say things to find favour in other people’s eyes?

How often do we act so that we should look upon as kind and caring?

How often do we think - what will I get for this. What’s in it for me?

Now watch this.

You know, we all do Chesed as much as we can. But is it “Good Chesed”?

What’s that, I hear you say?

Let’s be honest, we live in a society where we help each other.

Rochel will make a meal for Shoshana after birth, and Shoshana will do the same for Esther when she needs one. We are kind and helpful to our friends, subconsciously because, come one day, and we might need help from them. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s only 99% Chesed. The other 1% is really me helping myself.

But imagine someone who has absolutely everthing. But really everything. When he does a favor for someone, he is not expecting or in need for anything in return, because he has it all.

So when he performs kindness it’s Good Chesed. 100% pure.

I know “Someone” like this.

The Ribonoh Shel Olam. Master of the World. King of the king of kings. מלך מלכי המלכים.

At the very onset of Shemone Esrei when we list Hashem’s qualities, we mention -

גומל חסדים טובים. Hashem doesn’t do plain Chesed. It’s the good type.

And do you know why? Because - וקונה הכל.

Hashem owns the entire globe, every living cell, every creation.

Hashem can perform deeds simply and totally for the benefit or the recipient - us.

Guess what the last word in that paragraph is?

וזוכר חסדי אבות ומביא גואל לבני בניהם למען שמו - באהבה

Again that magical word which we started with.

The Cohanim, Yaacov and above all - Hashem, have taught us to shower our friends with true love by pure giving. Literally- Bless YOU.