Naso

Naso: Counting Our Blessings

A Jew is commanded to recite one hundred blessings each and every day (Menachot 43b). We need constant reminders to ensure that we recognize the blessings of G-d and to remind ourselves that in all of our actions we are to reflect the Divine image. While most of the brachot we make consist of man acknowledging G-d as the master of the world, the priestly blessings are an exception to this pattern. In this particular blessing the Torah commands man to bless his fellow man.

Nasso: More is Less

The Torah uses its words sparingly—and sometimes not at all. The Torah tells us very little about the laws of Shabbat[1]. They are, in the poetic words of the Mishna (Chagigah 10a), “like mountains reliant on a thread of hair” or, in the case of annulling vows, “floating in the air with nothing to lean on”. It is only through the Oral Law that we can begin to understand how to observe these laws.

Naso: To Be or Not to Be!

A fundamental question that has been debated since the beginning of Jewish history regards the degree of contact and integration one should have with outside culture. Should we embrace it, drawing out its positive features as we assimilate it into our Torah worldview? Should we try to achieve a deeper understanding of Torah through a study of "non-Torah" sources, or should we avoid the potentially corrosive influence it may have upon us?

Nasso: Time for Repentance

Our Torah was given to us on at least two occasions. The first revelation just weeks after the exodus was ineffectual as the people built a golden calf a mere 40 days later. The Torah that we have in our possession today was in actuality given after Moshe succeeded in gaining forgiveness for the people, what we today know as Yom Kippur, a day henceforth reserved for renewing our relationship with G-d.

Naso: Theft From a Convert

The first chapters of the book of Bamidbar focus on readying the people to enter the land. The primary focus is on the physical aspects of entry; the census, the campgrounds, order of marching and the like. Unfortunately, the physical entry was to be delayed, and Sefer Devarim focuses once again on preparing the people-the children of those mentioned in Bamidbar-to enter the land. The focus there is on spiritual matters; ethics, morality, just society and the like. A nation ultimately is only as strong as its core moral values.
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