In this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Naso, there is the commandment for the Kohanim to bless the Jewish nation. When they bless as they are commanded, their blessing comes true. In fact, the beginning of the commandment for the blessing says “Koh Tivarchu” — the word Koh is the same word used at the beginning of prophecies.
But what I want to hone in on today is a startling paragraph in Rabbeinu Bachya’s commentary. He quotes Rabbi Yitzchok Hazakan, one of the Baalei Tosfos, as outlining that unmarried Kohanim are not supposed to bless the people. Only married Kohaim are proper conduits for Bracha.
The explanation then veers off to a past inyan (subject) of the deaths of Nadav and Aveehu, the two holy sons of Aharon. According to commentary, the two had multiple reasons for meriting the death sentence — one of which was that they remained unmarried. They were the catch of their times and no one was good enough for them. Rabbeinu Bachya then brings a verse in Tehillim “Bachoorav Achla Aysh” — the unmarried men were consumed by fire; “oo’besoolohsav loh hoo’lahloo” — and the unmarried girls did not give praise. Rabbeinu Bachya surmises this verse in Tehillim is talking about the Shidduch crisis problem — the men not getting married gives so much grief to gals they could and should have married that it silences the Hallel the girls would say…which, in turn, brings punishment to the guys.
Yes, I know, there are many who claim there are two sides to the shidduch crisis. Yet, according to many dayot, a woman does not have bechira and the guys do because of the klal of “hakol biy’day shamayim chutz mee’yiras shamayim” – all is in Divine Providence except for the matters of our choices whether or not to do the commandments. Since the commandment of marriage and procreation is aimed at the guys, according to many, they are the ones who control the destiny of marriage for what could have been their partnership with the right gal.
There was a time in Yerushalayim, when it was noted to be Yershalayim “shel ma’alah” as a fully, spiritual place, when it was decreed that any guy not married by 20 was not allowed to stay within the walls of the city overnight. Methinks many a man got married properly in those times. Methinks that “besoolos Yerushalayim” gave praise and thanks. If only the ever-searching-for-better-prospects bachurim of our times realized the destruction they are wreaking, on themselves, on the girls waiting for shidduchim and on our nation!