Often people say God is the Only One Who Saves and Who blesses. Many trinitarians therefore also say the Jesus must be God because Jesus is the Saviour. First of all they do forget that many people can save other people, animals and plants, though those firefighters, surgeons, medics, animal protectors are not God. Secondly they also forget that in many religious institutions there are priests who are accepted to give blessings and to give forgiveness of sins.
Several people may question then the role of the priest when he can do nothing in the Name of God. Others may ask
If the priest who delivers blessing to the people isn’t the ultimate source of that blessing, what is her/his role?
And what does conveying or sharing blessings with or to another person even mean?
A pair of teachings, both found in Midrash Tanhuma, aim to answer the first question.
It does not suit My dignity that I should have to bless My creatures [Myself]. Rather, I am handing the blessings over to Abraham and to his progeny, and so, whosoever they bless, I will back up his blessing, as it is written: “and be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2) [Midrash Tanhuma, V’zot ha’Berakha 1]
When we read between the lines of the Torah we also may find how God requires Abraham to take care for God’s People and to make sure they can be blessed. In the set apart Scriptures we also do find requests from god to bring over blessings to others.
And it came to pass, [on the day that Moses had made an end of setting up the tabernacle] – the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “In this world, I commanded Aaron and his sons to bless them, but in the future, I, in My glory, will bless them, as it is written, ‘YHWH bless thee out of Zion; even He that made heaven and earth.’” (Psalm 134:3) [Midrash Tanhuma, Naso 18]
Similarly, Midrash Tanhuma explains the role of the priest.
“In this way you shall bless” (Numbers 6:23) – Speak [amor] to them [using the ‘full’ spelling, i.e. with a vav], thus meaning: Say to them, to the priests, that just because I have told you to bless the people Israel, this does not imply that you may bless them begrudgingly or hastily [b’angaria u’v’vehilut]; rather, you should bless them wholeheartedly, so that the blessings have power for them; and thus is it written amor lahem, using the ‘full’ spelling. [Tanhuma Buber, Naso 18]
“Speak to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the people of Israel. Say to them: The Eternal bless you and protect you! The Eternal deal kindly and graciously with you! The Eternal bestow [divine] favor upon you and grant you peace!” (Numbers 6:23–26 TMC-E)
In pronouncing God’s favour on the people, we also find in several writings that the priest was to use a formula or blessing. Also do we find that the Elohim shall bless those who bless;
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will pronounce doom on those who curse you; through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.””
(Genesis 12:3 TMC-E)
In the past people made use of that opportunity to bless others.
“‘Bring me game and make me tasty dishes, that I may eat—and [then] bless you before the Eternal before my death.’”
(Genesis 27:7 TMC-E)
“Let peoples serve you, nations bow down to you. Be a ruler to your brothers, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed; may those who bless you be blessed.””
(Genesis 27:29 TMC-E)
“bestowing this blessing upon Rebekah: “Sister, may you become thousands of myriads; may your descendants take possession of the gates of their foes!” Rebekah and her servant girls got up and mounted the camels and followed the man, as the slave took Rebekah and went off.”
(Genesis 24:60–61 TMC-E)
Like in ancient time children asked their parents blessing, those responsible of others still should give blessings to those which they should protect. At the same time we too should ask our parents and God the Father their blessings.
“When Esau heard his father’s words, he broke into an exceedingly loud and bitter howl and said to his father, “Bless me! Me too, Father!””
(Genesis 27:34 TMC-E)
“And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” He [Jacob] said, “Bring them to me, pray, that I may bless them.””
(Genesis 48:9 TMC-E)
In those text we also read that people could bow down for others, this not meaning that they would worship that person. Lots of trinitarians say because Jesus did not resist when a person bowed his head before Christ that this meant that Jesus wanted to be honoured as the God and did not refuse that people worshipped him. But the bowing down before some one has not to mean that one worships that person. It is a matter of showing respect.
By facing one another and desiring goodness for one another with a full heart, we get to bring a bit of Divine goodness into the world. Priests had to be and still should be partners with God to draw down goodness. Lots of people forget that in this present age all believers in God are all priests.
To bless one another is to increase the flow of love and compassion in the world. No wonder birkat kohanim is (perhaps) our oldest and most beloved prayer!
“And may God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and numerous, so that you become a host of peoples,”
(Genesis 28:3 TMC-E)
That you may go out into the world blessing others!
Be safe and take care of yourself and others,
Being blessed and blessing in the Name of God, so that the Name of the elohim be mentioned and He will come to you and bless you.
“Make for Me an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 TMC-E)
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