WHAT IS A KAMEA?
In 1979, two tiny silver scrolls were discovered in an ancient burial ground in Israel near Jerusalem called Ketef Hinnom. It took several years for scholars to unravel the fragile silver scrolls and properly date them. The scrolls, archaeologists determined, were from the 7th century BCE – 3,000 years ago.
These tiny silver scrolls contain the oldest known biblical writing – a blessing so ancient it predates even the famous Dead Sea Scrolls by some five centuries. The blessing engraved on them would have been worn as an amulet to ward off evil, to ensure protection, abundance, grace and peace.
On one side of the scroll you choose, Rabbi Levy prints the Priestly Blessing in Hebrew, the most holy and ancient of all Hebrew Blessings.
On the flip side, Rabbi Levy composes a blessing personalized and tailored to the particular needs of your soul.
Kabbalah and Kamea
The Ancient Power of Blessing
The Kohanim offer the blessing while raising their hands in a particular formation to create the Hebrew letter “Shin” with their fingers. Shin represents the first letter of one of God’s names: Shadai. The name Shadai is also believed to carry intense mystical powers. This is the name of God that is always found on the mezuzahs Jews affix to their doorposts.
Jews believe the Priestly blessing is so powerful that to this day there is a custom to look away when the priests are blessing the congregation.
There is also a tradition that if a person is suffering from worries because of a bad dream, he or she should come to hear the Priestly Blessing delivered by the Kohanim, and the dream’s power will be nullified.
Bob Dylan, Mr. Spock and the Priestly Blessing
This powerful blessing has made its way into our popular culture as well. The hand formation Mr. Spock uses in Star Trek when he offers the Vulcan salute, “Live Long and Prosper,” is the hand formation used by Kohanim as they recite the Priestly Blessing. Leonard Nimoy explained that he needed to create a gesture for the Vulcan salute and he remembered a scene from his childhood. He was in temple at the moment of the Priestly Blessing when all were admonished not to look, and he snuck a peek at the hands of the Kohanim. What gesture could better conjure up feelings of power and awe?
The Bob Dylan song, “Forever Young,” is based directly on this one ancient blessing, “May God bless and keep you always.” In the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof” this blessing is the inspiration for the song, “May the Lord Protect and Defend You.”
Even though you might not know the Hebrew words, this blessing is already somewhere inside of you. You’ve heard it spoken somewhere in temple or in church, at a wedding, at a Christening or a circumcision or a baby naming, at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Rabbi Levy’s Amulets
Rabbi Naomi Levy has been writing amulets containing the Priestly Blessing for some Eighteen years now. She writes:
“I don’t write kameas for people because I believe in magic or in invisible force fields. I write them for people who need them, because I believe that a tiny blessing around your neck has the power to unite your inner world with your outer world. We all need reminders to wake us up and help us redirect our thoughts and actions. And yes, I believe the Priestly Blessing is powerfully holy, and I believe it’s important for us to be near sources of holiness.”
Your Personal Blessing
Often the last person we remember to take care of is our own souls. Life spins out of control, we are faced with demands in every direction and spread ourselves so thin that we forget to remember our own needs, wants and yearning. Seeking a kamea requires that you look deep inside and ask yourself: “What is the blessing I am seeking right now?”
Wearing your blessing is a way to embody prayer, to become more and more aware of your sacred role in God’s world. In ancient times the High Priest would wear an amulet on his forehead with the words “Holy to God” engraved on it. There is powerful to wear words that are a constant reminder of your divine calling.
Bless Others with a Sacred Blessing
Your ability to bless others is a sacred gift. Never underestimate your power to be God’s vessel in bestowing strength, comfort and light to another. When you visit someone in the hospital, celebrate a friend’s birthday or graduation, when you want to bless a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, see what happens when you offer a sacred blessing. Offer it to a new parent, to a newly married couple. Share it with your friends, with your family. A sacred blessing will live on forever inside the person you choose to bless.
May the power of this blessing and Rabbi Naomi Levy’s words bring healing and strength into your life, and the lives of those you love.