Parashat Naso

A Blessing for an Activist Community

Inspired by the priestly benediction.

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We acknowledge, appreciate, and seek to nurture the radiance of the faces of other people and bring their light into the world. To bless someone is to shine a spotlight of attention and care on them. We pursue this illuminating work of bringing light to people in need through social justice. By blessing others, we contribute to bringing God's grace, protection, and relief to the challenges of our world.

May God's Face Be Lifted Upon You and Grant You Peace.

Just as God's face turns toward us, we are to turn our faces to greet our neighbors. It is not enough to be blessed by God, we in turn become responsible for blessing others, to "add to the quotient of Divine Presence in the world, to give back to God and to the world." To offer birkat kohanim is to invite God into the work we do in the world, to lift our hands toward the heavens and each other in faith and hope that we may be participants in creating peace in our fragmented world.  

My blessing for us as a community of activists is that we strive to be a mamlekhet kohanim, a kingdom of priests, who channel God's blessing and light into the world through our own acts of blessing, of tzedek, and of healing. May God's name be set upon us and may all be blessed with life and peace.

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Rabbi Alyson Solomon was ordained by Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Boston. Rabbi Solomon is an alumna of the 2007 AJWS Rabbinical School Delegation to El Salvador and former assistant to Ruth Messinger, President of AJWS.