Sunday, May 12, 2013

Naso 5773

The Torah Portion of Naso 

The Torah Portion of Naso is usually read immediately after the holiday of Shavuot, and it is the longest portion in terms of the number of its verses, to hint to us that after receiving the Torah we need to increase in learning and to strengthen ourselves.  Also the Midrashic explanations, as well as the explanations in the Zohar on this Torah Portion, are very extensive.

The Torah Portion of Naso is the longest Torah Portion and has 176 verses.  

And also in the book of Psalms, the longest chapter is chapter 119 which has in it 176 verses.  In addition, the longest tractate is Baba Batra, and it has 176 pages. In the name of the Gr"a it is stated that in truth the tractate of Baba Batra is the longest in terms of the number of pages which it has;  however, the  tractate of Berachot is the longest one in terms of the number of words. 

"Count the number of the sons of Gershon, also them" (Bamidbar 4:22).  

The Ohr HaChama explains, why does it say "also them"?  The sons of Levi in the order of their birth are Gershon, Kehat, and Merari, that is, Gershon is before Kehat.  But in the order of their carrying of components of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the carrying done by the sons of Kehat is written about in the Torah Portion of Bamidbar - before the carrying done by the sons of Gershon, because the items carried by Kehat were the most holy items.  So in order to not cause us to err and say that the sons of Gershon were excluded from the general class (of sons of Levi who were honored by being given the task of carrying components of the Tabernacle), it was therefore written "also them", because also they were highly honored.  

"And they shall confess their sin"  (Bamidbar 5:7)

The law of Vidui (confession) is written in the context of stealing from a convert: "And they shall confess their sin" (Bamidbar 5:7). And why was this written in the context of stealing from a convert?  The reason is that every sin is a type of theft, because Hashem created man to do good acts, and if so when he sins he is stealing from the Holy One Blessed Be He.  (from the Sefat Emet)

"To take a nazarite vow" (Bamidbar 6:2).  

Rashi explains that the reason the passage about the Sotah is adjacent to the passage about the Nazir is to tell you that everyone that sees a Sotah in her disgrace should take upon himself to abstain from wine.  And this presents a difficulty, because a Nazir needs to bring a sacrifice for causing himself to abstain from wine, as the Rabbis said, that he sinned against his soul by causing himself suffering by abstaining from wine.  And the explanation is, that what is meant by saying that someone who sees a Sotah should abstain from wine is that he should not drink a lot to the point of drunkenness. (from the Riv"a) 

"And the first days shall fall aside" (Bamidbar 6:12) 

This is a hint, to every person who is trying to bring himself closer to Hashem, and the evil inclination puts him down, by saying "you are a sinner and doing repentance will not be effective".  The verse says "And the first days shall fall aside" (Bamidbar 6:12); he should not think about what occurred in the past, but rather should start anew, and strengthen himself.  And so we say in one of the prayers: "from now until eternity"; that the main point is that we need to strengthen ourselves so that "from now until eternity" we will behave correctly. (from Mussar teachers)

"And I will bless them"  (Bamidbar 6:27)

In the blessing given by the Kohanim, it is not specified in the verse with what Hashem will bless us, etc. (The Sages explained, that "May He bless you" is with wealth,  "And may He guard you", is from damaging influences, etc., but these are not stated explicitly in the Torah.) The Gaon Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld ztz"l says, that the Kohen himself doesn't know what is lacking for each individual, so it would be possible for him to bless someone with wealth and it wouldn't be good for him to have that, because "there is wealth which is guarded for its owner to his detriment".  The Holy One Blessed Be He said to the Kohen "You will say 'May He bless you', etc.", "And I will bless them" (Bamidbar 6:27).  I will bless each and every one with what is beneficial for him.

The Torah Portion of Naso has 176 verses, 7 positive commandments and 11 negative commandments.  Haftora: "Vayihi ish achad m'tzara" (Shoftim 13)  

May you all have a  light-filled and happy Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

No comments:

Post a Comment