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The Dateline
The international date line (kav hata'arich) is an imaginary north-south line somewhere east of Yerushalayim that marks the area where new days begin to be counted. When the sun crosses this line, it becomes Monday morning west of the line while east of the line it is still Sunday. There is a major controversy among recent poskim as to the appropriate location of this line. According to the Chazon Ish, the line cuts only through the sea; it circumnavigates any land mass that it crosses along its eastern shore. Accordingly, the date in these lands is the same as it is in the other lands east of Yerushalayim.
(ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 73)

 Hilchos Tefilla 128-129 (page 20)
 מאמצע הסעיף והמקרא עד סימן קכט סעיף ב

Consecrating the Kohein
Using the Services of a Kohein
Birkas Kohanim at Mincha

Consecrating the kohein
The Torah says " you should consecrate [the kohein]," which teaches that kohanim should be given special privileges, like having the first aliya or leading the bentching. The poskim discuss whether granting these privileges is a mitzva d'oraisa or a d'rabonon. These privileges are for the benefit of the kohanim and it is their prerogative to forego them if they wish (except for taking the first aliya, which is partially done to avoid fights). According to some poskim, a kohein who is an invalid is entitled to these privileges even though he is excluded from preforming the Temple service. The poskim discuss whether a minor is entitled to these privileges or whether his status is lower than that of an invalid since he is neither eligible to receive, nor obligated to eat, a portion of the sacrifices.
( סימן קכח, ס"ק קעד-קעה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 177-178)

Using the services of a kohein
Inappropriate use of the kohein's service is akin to desecrating kodshim. A kohein may waive the honor due him. According to some poskim, this is permissible only in cases when the kohein derives some benefit from the use of his services (e.g. a salary or prestige), but unpaid service is a disgrace to the kohein which the kohein should not allow. One should certainly be careful to avoid using a kohein to perform degrading services, but it is permissible to hire a kohein who earns his living by providing a degrading service. (It is, though, unbecoming for a kohein to be involved in such business.) One kohein may avail himself of the services of another kohein who is unwilling to forgo his honor.
( סימן קכח, ס"ק קעה, וביה"ל ד"ה אסור; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 180)

Birkas kohanim at Mincha
In ancient times, it was common to drink wine throughout the day and people often became intoxicated during the day. Chazal forbade birkas kohanim during Mincha to prevent drunken kohanim from reciting the blessing. Birkas kohanim is recited at Mincha on a ta'anis (except on Yom Kippur) since people won't be drunk then. The poskim discuss whether birkas kohanim can be recited at early Mincha ( gedolah) on those days or only late mincha ( ketana). Birkas kohanim must be completed while it is still day. The contemporary poskim discuss the question of exactly when the day ends with respect to this halacha. The prayer of E-lokeinu v'E-lokei Avoseinu may be said past the end of the day.
( סימן קכט, סעיף א וס"ק א, ו־ג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 1 ו־4)

  • It is a mitzva mid'oraisa for the kohanim to bless Klal Yisrael daily. This mitzva applies both inside and outside Eretz Yisrael, and at all times. Most communities in Eretz Yisrael and some in other countries practice this mitzva every day. Many communities in chutz la'aretz and some in the northern part of Eretz Yisrael do not recite the beracha daily, but only during Mussaf on Yom Tov.
  • According to the Rama, only joyous people may recite birkas kohanim. On most days, people are overwhelmed by thoughts about making a living and are not sufficiently happy to recite the prayer. Only on Yom Tov, people are glad enough to recite the blessing. The minhag in most communities outside of Eretz Yisrael follows the Rama.
  • The kohanim turn to their right and left to spread the beracha to all those present at the time they are enunciating: yevarechicha, v'yishmirecha, eilecha, v'chunecha, eilecha, lecha and shalom. They draw out the final syllable when saying these seven words.


  • The tefilla of Ribono Shel Olam

  • Who may recite Ribono Shel Olam

  • The connection between birkas kohanim and dreams



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.