The Aaronic Blessing: A Tradition of Blessing on Shabbat

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The Aaronic Blessing, also known as the Priestly Blessing, is a timeless prayer that holds a special place in the hearts of many believers. This prayer, given by Yehovah to Moses to be spoken by Aaron and his sons, is a beautiful expression of divine favor, protection, and peace. It is commonly used to bless children and spouses during Shabbat and other significant occasions.

The Aaronic Blessing in Hebrew and English

Here is the Aaronic Blessing in Hebrew, using Yehovah in place of Adonai, along with the English translation:

Hebrew: יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ יִשָּׂא יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם

Transliteration: Yevarechecha Yehovah v’yishm’recha Ya’er Yehovah panav eylecha vichuneka Yisa Yehovah panav eylecha v’yasem l’cha shalom

English: May Yehovah bless you and keep you; May Yehovah make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; May Yehovah lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

The Significance of the Aaronic Blessing

Historical Context

The Aaronic Blessing originates from Numbers 6:22-27, where Yehovah instructs Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to bless the Israelites with these words. This blessing was a part of the priestly duties and was intended to convey Yehovah’s protection, grace, and peace to His people.

Numbers 6:22-27 (NIV): “Yehovah said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.’ So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Spiritual Implications

The Aaronic Blessing is rich with spiritual meaning. Each line of the blessing reflects a different aspect of Yehovah’s relationship with His people:

  • Blessing and Protection: The first line asks for Yehovah’s blessing and protection, acknowledging that all good things come from Him and that His protection is paramount.
  • Grace and Favor: The second line seeks Yehovah’s grace and favor, asking that His face shine upon us, which is a metaphor for His presence and approval.
  • Peace and Wholeness: The final line prays for Yehovah’s peace, or shalom, which encompasses not just the absence of conflict but a state of completeness and well-being.

The Tradition of Blessing on Shabbat

Blessing Children and Spouses

In many Jewish and Hebrew Roots households, the Aaronic Blessing is recited during Shabbat as a way to bless children and spouses. This tradition underscores the desire to impart Yehovah’s protection, favor, and peace to loved ones at the onset of the holy day.

Blessing Children: Parents place their hands on their children’s heads and recite the blessing, imparting Yehovah’s favor and protection over them for the week to come.

Blessing Spouses: Spouses may bless each other with the Aaronic Blessing, reinforcing their commitment to each other under Yehovah’s grace and peace.

Incorporating the Aaronic Blessing in Your Life

Personal Devotion

Consider incorporating the Aaronic Blessing into your daily or weekly prayers. Reflect on each line and its meaning, allowing the words to deepen your relationship with Yehovah.

Community and Congregational Use

The Aaronic Blessing can also be used in community settings, such as at the end of a service or during special occasions, to invoke Yehovah’s blessing upon the congregation.


The Aaronic Blessing is a powerful and enduring prayer that continues to resonate with believers today. Its use in blessing children and spouses on Shabbat is a beautiful tradition that reinforces the values of protection, grace, and peace. By incorporating this blessing into our lives, we connect with an ancient practice that brings us closer to Yehovah and to each other.

May Yehovah bless you and keep you; May Yehovah make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; May Yehovah lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Shalom!

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