And grant you peace

Bill Slot writes in The Times of Israel about the  "wonderful, serendipitous, and yes, spiritual" discovery of 2,700 year old amulets containing the blessing he bestows on his own kids every Friday night:

One of the most important discoveries in the annals of Biblical Archaeology is also one of the smallest: Two silver amulets containing a version of the Priestly Benediction, Numbers: 6: 24-26. To remind you, if you slept through that Torah portion, God tells Moses to instruct Aaron and his sons the phrases with which to bless the people: “May YHWH bless you and keep you. May YHWH cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.  May YHWH turn his face to you and grant you peace.”

A slightly truncated version of these words appears in ancient Hebrew script etched on rolls of silver the size of cigarette butts that were found in a 7th century BCE tomb. Like many archaeological finds, their discovery was a combination of lucky coincidences, guided by the wise scholarship and the instinctive horse sense of the inimitable Gabriel Barkai.

To me, there is something wonderful, serendipitous, and yes, spiritual about the fact that of all the verses that could have emerged from this accidental find, it was these words that were found, speaking to our cyber-frenzied world from deep within the days of the Kings of Judah: The words that I use to bless my children every Friday night. The words that the Cohanim descendants of priests have used to bless congregations of Jews for as long as there have been synagogues. The words that, when uttered during the repetition of the prayer service, require the response Ken Yehi Ratzon (So, may it be His will)

Read Bill's whole post at The Times of Israel.

Bill Slott, TY alum and shira specialist (for a whole lot of years) is a licensed Israeli tour guide who has hiked and biked the length and breadth of the country. Bill is a member of Kibbutz Ketura, where he has lived since 1981 with his wife and three daughters. 

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