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Morning Blessings: Priestly Blessing: Protecting Our Torah



“May God bless you and protect you”, the blessing also serves as a protection. A mortal king who lived in Rome had a good friend in Surya. The king sent for him and he came to the king. The king gave him one Litrin of gold. He took it and went on his way; but thieves attacked him and they took everything the king gave him and everything that he had. Could the king possibly protect him from the thieves? Therefore, it is written “May God bless you and protect you”. (Midrash Tanchuma, Naso #10)
It is interesting to note that in the Morning Blessings, we recite the Priestly Blessing right after the Blessings of the Torah.

We acknowledge that Torah is a priceless gift from God, that, even though we must involve ourselves in its study, we conclude with “Who gives the Torah”.
At the same time we realize that we easily become distracted with other things, that we sometimes struggle as we try to hold on to our Torah. We might experience a moment of intense clarity in our learning, only to lose it later; we might be excited about a new idea, only to feel that thrill diluted when faced with others’ or our own cynicism. We might learn an incredible thought, only to forget it later.

 

Therefore, before we even begin to learn a single verse, before we open a single book and start receiving the gift of Torah, we ask God to guard it for us. Unlike the Roman king who would bestow gifts only for them to be stolen; we ask God to protect His gift of Torah from all our potential spiritual thieves.

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