Tzvi Ilan ben Gita update: Ilan is back in the rehab clinic, starting therapy and making progress since his seizure. He’s getting stronger, and his walking and speaking are improving. Thanks for the continued prayers. Keep ‘em coming.
Kli Yakar Genesis: Lech Lecha
The Power to Bless
Dry conventional theological wisdom might claim that only God is capable of affecting blessings upon us. There is a perhaps apocryphal joke of a Lithuanian (non-Hasidic) Rabbi that is approached by a simple Jew and asks the Rabbi to bless him. The Rabbi answers:
“Are you an apple that I should bless over you?”
The Hasidic and Sephardic traditions on the other hand are rife with blessings being bestowed at every opportunity.
When God commands Abraham to leave his homeland and head towards Canaan, He states:
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.” Genesis 12:2
The Kli Yakar wonders as to the seeming repetition of ‘be thou a blessing’ and what is the difference from ‘I will bless thee’?
He explains that not only will Abraham be blessed for obeying God’s word but that Abraham will also have the power to bless whoever he wants and will indeed be the source of the blessings he bestows.
The Kli Yakar further explains the simple metaphysical mechanics of how one achieves the power to bless. God is the ultimate source of all blessing. The closer one is behaviorally and/or physically to God (the Kli Yakar also points to the Temple mount as a ‘source’), the more one will acquire His ability to bestow blessing.
May we acquire more and more the power to bless – and may we use it.
Shabbat Shalom and blessings of “all your heart’s desire for good” to you, for whatever it’s worth,
To the Chilean miners. They are blessed and their spirit and discipline in the mine hints that they must be doing something right.