Audio Roundup Special: Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz- Birchas Kohanim

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by Joel Rich


Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz- Birchas Kohanim

Shiur 01 – The Role of the Tzibur in Birchas Kohanim

Is there a mitzva for yisraelim to receive birchat cohanim? Some possible shitot to say yes. If yes, what is the nature of the mitzva? There are a number of nakfa mins.

Shiur 02 – A Kohein Who Murdered

What is the status for avodah/duchening participations of a cohen who has killed? Does it make a difference whether it was bshogeig? If he did tshuva? Are there different levels of ein kateigor naase sanegor? Would it apply to one who was malbin nrei chaveiro?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 03 – Standing for Birchas Kohanim

Is the requirement for a cohain to stand during birchat cohanim only lechatchila or is it makev? The answer may depend on the source of the mitzvah (avoda or ko tivarchu). Maybe there are some limud zchut but R Lebowitz thinks they are a stretch (pun intended).

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 04 – Children in Birchas Kohanim

Can/should a katan duchen? Why might the mitzva of chinuch not apply? Might it be an issue of kavod hatzibur?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 05 – Shomei’a K’oneh and Kol Ram

Is the requirement of bkol ram a practical one (that the tzibur be able to hear) or a technical one? (similar question by tfila/shomea lazno). Can Cohanim be “yotzei” giving the bracha bkol ram through shomea koneh (see lbeit halevi)?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 06 – Looking at the Kohanim

Do we not look at the cohanim because of the presence of the shechina or so as not to have a hesech hadaat? In some communities all the cohanim cover their hands so there is no problem and it’s probably only an issue with histalkut(staring) not riah. A number of applications discussed including happy socks.

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 07 – A Kohein Yachid Duchening

Is birchat cohanim only a mitzva duraita if you have more than one cohain? How would you call up one cohain? Is it a mitzvah kiyumit?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 08 – The Issur for a Zar to do Birchas Kohanim

Primarily focuses on explanations as to why rav yosi, who was not a cohain,  told his associates that if he were asked to go up and duchen that he would do so. Why is there a practice to give the blessing at other times? A number of approaches provided.

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 09 – Am She’b’sados and Nashim

When we say the am shebesadot are included in birchat cohanim, exactly who is included and why? Are women included in the general mitzvah?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 10 – Kohein Shaliach Tzibur

Can (should) a cohain be the shaliach tzibur when there will be duchening? If so, how do we handle washing, makri, where to stand (him and tzibur) and does he duchen? Is the answer dependent on if there are other cohanim available?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 11 – Bal Tosif

When a mitzvah is stated both in the plural and in the singular, it implies there is a separate mitzvah for the community and the individual.  How does this impact birchat cohanim? What exactly is required to violate it and when does it occur?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 12 – Answering Amein

How does the concept of shtai kolei lo mshtamei impact the interplay of the makri, Cohanim and kahal?

Should the chazan answer amein to the birchat cohanim and/or the cohanim’s birchat hamitzva?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 13 – Tefilah for Dreams During Birchas Kohanim

Understanding the dream prayer said during birchat Cohanim and when during the brscha should it be said? How did chazal and later poskim relate to dreams? How should we?

Birchas Kohanim Shiur 14 – Duchening When Drunk

There are restrictions on when the cohanim can duchen based on whether they had imbibed alcohol. We also see these restrictions by prayers and by rabbis given psak. What level of “drunkenness” is the threshold in each of these cases?


About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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