two reasons why not to look at the face or hands of the כהנים
during נשיאת כפיים.
1) היסח הדעת
(distraction) Both, the כהנים & עם must concentrate on the ברכת
כהנים and not get distracted.
2) זכר למקדש
In the Bais Hamikdash, they did ברכת כהנים with the שם
המפורש. Since the שכינה hovered over the Kohanim
נשיאת כפיים, it blinded the eyes of those who gazed at them. (only
when it is done with the שם המפורש )
today staring at the Kohanim won't blind you, a short glance would
be OK but because of זכר למקדש the Minhag is to
refrain even from a short glance (משנה ברורה)
1) The Kohen covers only his face with the Tallis and keeps his
He covers both his face & his hands under the Tallis.
places where the Kohanim exposed their hands, the Minhag was also
for the עם to cover their faces with their Tallis. (דרכי משה)
many Yidden cover their face with the Tallis even at
places where the כהנים do cover their hands. this is done
because of מנהג אבותיהן even though it's not really
the hat on the nose during ברכת כהנים is definitely
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