Parshah Naso נשא (Números 4:21-7:89)
Summary and comment
Rounding out the account of the Children of Israel made in the Sinai Desert, a total of 8,580 Levites men between 30 and 50 years are counted for those who transported the Tabernacle.
God teaches Moshe the laws of Sotah, a wife suspected of being unfaithful to her husband. Also given is the law of Nazir, he or she who promises not to drink wine, let their hair grow and whom it is prohibited to ritually defile oneself with impurity of the dead. Aharon and his descendants, the Kohanim, are instructed on how to bless the people of Israel.
The leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel bring their offering for the inauguration of the altar. Despite the fact that their offerings are identical, each is brought on a different day and is individually described by the Torah.
Parashat Naso the longes of the year-round readings and is the subject of a vast number of Midrashim. In the Zohar it is explained in great detail, more than any other parsha. What is all this greatness? Parashat Naso almost always falls after the Shabbat which comes after the holiday of Shavuot, which is the time of the giving of the Torah. Therefore, in the week following the delivery of the Torah, the Sages incorporated all that enormous enthusiasm and love of Torah.
“Every man whose wife goes aside …” (Bamidbar 5:12)
In this week’s Torah portion there is a very strange concept. Amid the description of the organization of machane, the Jewish camp, a seemingly illogical break in the Torah introduced, along with other mitzvot, the mitzvah of “jack” occurs. La Sota is the woman whose behavior has caused her husband is unfaithful suspected.
The Torah prescribes the miraculous process through which, if proven innocent, the absolute trust of her husband earned. But what does the Sota have to do with the Jewish camp?
The machane was the paradigm of the future social structure of the Jewish people, and representing the Jewish society as it should be structured along the generations. The Torah stands the mitzvah of the Sota amid the description of the machane to show that the harmony of society in general must be preceded by a united and happy family.
The family is the foundation of society. When the delicate balance is corrupted, according to a utopian concepts of artificial life, inevitably these experiments will be short lived and eventually disappear. Shabbat Shalom ~~~~~~~~ Mati
Read the May 2015 newsletter from the European Union for Progressive Judaism. Click here to read and download.
Read Torah from Around the World #274 : Parashat Naso: You Shall Bless and be Blessed
By: Rabbi Y. Lindsey bat Joseph, executive director of the Sol Mark Centre for Jewish Excellence in British Columbia, Canada.
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