|Created||circa 650–587 BCE (pre-exile) |
|Present location||Israel Museum|
The “Ketef Hinnom” site consists of a series of rock-hewn burial chambers based on natural caverns.
In 1979, two tiny silver scrolls, inscribed with portions of the well-known prophylactic Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers and apparently once used as amulets, were found in one of the burial chambers.
The delicate process of unrolling the scrolls while developing a method that would prevent them from disintegrating took three years.
The Priestly Blessing or priestly benediction, (Hebrew: ברכת כהנים; translit. birkat kohanim), also known in rabbinic literature as raising of the hands (Hebrew nesiat kapayim), or Dukhanen (Yiddish from the Hebrew word dukhan – platform – because the blessing is given from a raised rostrum), is a Hebrew prayer recited by Kohanim (the Hebrew Priests, descendants of Aaron).
According to the Torah, Aaron blessed the people after offering sacrifices, and YHWH promises that “I will place my name on their hands” (the Kohanim’s hands) “and bless them” (the Jews receiving the blessing).  The Jewish Sages stressed that although the priests are the ones carrying out the blessing, it is not them or the ceremonial practice of raising their hands that results in the blessing, but rather it is God’s desire that His blessing should be transferred by means of the Kohanim’s hands.
Even after the destruction of the second Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem, the practice has been continued in Jewish synagogues, and today in most Jewish communities, Kohanim bless the worshippers in the synagogue during special Jewish prayer services