Parshat Nasso – May 22, 2021 – 11 Sivan 5781

A weekly digest of the Parshat Hashavua

Parshat Nasso

  • Stone Chumash, p. 748
  • 176 verses (longest parsha in the Torah!)
  •  Haftorah:  Shoftim 13 “Vayehi Ish Echad” p. 1181

Important Shabbat Info

  • Candle lighting:  7:48p
  • Vasikin:          5:54:02a
  • Latest Shmah:  9:27a
  • Early Mincha:   1:36p
  • Shabbat Ends:  8:50p
  • Zoom Havdalah 9:05p

General Intro

Parshat Naso  contains several major themes:
1) The census of the family of Gershon and Merari as well as their professions.
2) The formal demarcations of the encampments of the Tabernacle.
3) The guilt offering of the thief, and to whom he must offer recompense, if the victim is no longer alive.
4) The laws of the suspected wife.
5) The laws of the Nazir.
6) The blessings of the Kohanim.
7) The gifts of the Nesiim (princes) to a) the Levites- i.e. the six covered wagons, and b) their sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle, on the twelve consecutive days of Nisan.

Haftorah- pg. 1181- The story of the appearance of an angel to Manoach’s wife and later to Manoach himself, and the revelation that they will have a son who will become a Nazir from birth. The child will grow up to be a saviour in Israel, and they name him Samson.

The Moral of the Story

 The establishment of the encampment of the people of Israel, and their divisions into tribes, with various responsibilities, is the first official transformation of the people from nomadic individuals into a new nation. Until now, the Israelites were an unorganized multitude of former slaves, and now, suddenly, they are given flags, emblems, ranks, and responsibilities. Before a nation can be created, they require a strong sense of national, as well as individual, self-esteem. A nation which loses its focus and misplaces its national ideals and goals, cannot long endure.

This sense of nationhood, which was first established over 3,300 years ago, had never once left our collective self-conscious. Even during the worst periods of our Exile, we continued to pray that we would one day be re-established, as an independent nation living a life of sanctity, on our Holy soil. We never abandoned our various ranks of Kohen, Levi, and Israelite, despite their (for all intents and purposes) obsolescence.  For millennia, our people have prayed to view that auspicious day when we would once again express our national identities in our own land. Now, in our own time, with the establishment of the State of Israel, we have finally witnessed the beginnings of our redemption!

Pasuk of the week

Our pasuk comes from Isaiah 54:17, and is an eternal promise of G-d to his people: “No weapon formed against you shall succeed, And every tongue that contends with you at law you shall defeat. Such is the lot of the servants of the LORD, Such their triumph through Me —declares the LORD.”