Rebecca Masinter

Parshas Naso - Overflowing Blessing

In Parshas Naso the Kohanim are given the mitzvah to bless the Jewish people, Birchas Kohanim. The Torah says, "Speak to Aharon and to his sons, saying, “So shall you bless Bnai Yisrael, say to them...” and then it continues with the bracha.  Why did the Torah include two extra words, “Emor Lahem”, “say to them”?  The medrash teaches that the words, “Say to them” mean say to the Kohanim, the the chazan should first say each word of the bracha to the Kohanim and afterwards the Kohanim say it to the Jewish people.  Why is that?  Why Emor Lahem before they say it to us?


The answer is beautiful in its simplicity.  Before Kohanim can give a bracha to the nation, they have to be overflowing with bracha.  They must first receive bracha themselves from the chazan before they can in turn give a bracha to the people.  In the words of the Kli Yakar, a Kohen should be a kli malei - a full vessel, pouring bracha to us, not a kli reik, an empty vessel.  Hashem commands the Kohanim “Emor Lahem”, first let me bless the kohanim, and then they can be overflowing conduits of bracha to the Jewish people.


We all know the same principle applies to us.  We are better mothers when we parent from an overflowing cup instead of a state of depletion.  When we are filled with positivity, energy, and peace, we easily give from that overflow to our children.  And when we are empty and drained, we can’t give much.  Obviously, there are times that we are depleted and we still need to parent to the best of our abilities.  But when we notice that those times of depletion are recurring or regular, we need to reevaluate our priorities and make sure to fill ourselves first.  A full vessel overflows bracha and if we’re not full, we need to fill ourselves up.


May Hashem fill each one of us up with bracha to allow us to overflow joy and positvity onto our families.


Photo by Santiago Lacarta on Unsplash