By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
And I Shall Bless Them
This parsha is full of blessings: blessings that Yakov tells he was blessed by Hashem, blessings Yakov blesses Yosef’s children, and blessings Yakov blesses his own children. The painting above which Nachshon tied to this parsha has the hands of the Kohen stretched out as is customary in the priestly blessing, at the center of the painting. Nachshon recalls an event by the Lubavitcher Rebbe where the Rebbe asked all those present to bless each other with their hands on the heads of their fellow-Jews (regardless if a Kohen or not). It is to be noticed that, just as we saw in regard to the blessing of Yitzhak upon Yakov in regard to parshat Toldot, there is an “enjoined shofarot” theme. The Arizal taught that the narrower end of the shofar signifies a source of Divine blessing, and it may be for this reason that Nachshon, in both of these paintings dealing with blessing, drew a drop signifying the dew/sustenance of blessing or wings (as in the painting here), that also resemble drops of water, signifying a dove which was a sign of blessing at the end of the Flood. It could be that there are three wings here in the form of a “segolta” (one dot above and two dots below it, one to the right and the second to the left) represent yet another teaching of the Arizal that this form is a source of unity between the Divine sefirot. Indeed, we see this form exactly at the unification of the shofarot. In parshat Toldot where we saw the same enjoined shofarot theme we already mentioned there that unity/peace is a source of blessing – “Hashem did not find anything that holds blessing except for peace”. Therefore, it is also not surprising that precisely “stemming” from this unity we see the Kohanic hands outstretched in blessing, juxtaposed in our prayers to the blessing for peace in the Amida prayer. It seems that these hands are colored in the color of green which is the color of “growing” vegetation, signifying a theme of “growing” blessing and peace. Kabbalistically speaking the color green is associated with the sefira of Tiferet which carries the characteristic of unity and harmony. Just below these hands are people enrobed in many different colors, apparently suggesting the diversity of the People of Israel, and how all are united in this image of peace and harmony. The verses at the top and bottom of the painting also suggest unity, as they discuss the declaration of Hashem’s majesty at the Splitting of the Red Sea by Israel as a whole, as we say these verses in context of the sentence “a new song… together they praised Hashem saying “Hashem shall rule forever.”
Indeed, Hebron where Nachshon lived and painted, carries these themes profoundly, being the City of our Common Roots, the Hibur-Hebron-Uniting City of our People, the City of Peace and Blessing.