Parashat Naso נָשֹׂא

The word Naso (“נָשֹׂא”) in Gematria is 351, the same value of the terms “Beni Dor Dea’a” in Hebrew (“בני דור דעה”), the generation of knowledge, receiving the Torah. As well as “Davar Galuie Ve’Yadua’a” (“דבר גלוי וידוע”), not hidden and known, as HaShem at this point; and “Rak Echad Ve’Yachid” (“רק אחד ויחיד”), the one and only one, speaking of HaShem. These all alludes to the time right after “Matan Torah” as all knew and saw HaShem. We learn from the words “Elevate the sum of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ houses, by their families” as written “נשא את ראש בני גרשון” a profound teachings and prophecy. HaShem was reveling to Moshe that his sons will be spread among the nations, but they will always be elevated. We learn this from the word “Gershon” (“גרשון”), which in Hebrew also mean that they were expelled, forced out of their land. HaShem promise that even in exile, the people of Israel will be counted and elevated. 

This Parasha is the longest Parasha in our Torah, with 176 verses. Parashat Naso provides us with many Masachtot in our Gemara, such as Sotah, Nazir, Birchat Kohanim, Nessiim Korbanot, Zav, Viduy and others. It is interesting to point out that the number 176 is the same number of phrases speaking of HaShem and His love to Bnei-Yisrael. The words “HaShem Malkechem” (“ה’ מלככם” – God is your king), “Hu Manhigayienu” (“הוא מנהיגנו” – he is our leader), “LeOlam” (“לעולם” – for ever) all have the same numerical value of 176. There are three places in the Torah that are the longest and they all have 176 verses:

  1. Parashat Naso – 176 verses
  2. Baba Bathrah 176 pages
  3. Tehilim 119 – 176 verses

HaShem speaks to Moshe and instructs him to single out part of the family of Gershon who is fit to perform the holy task of servicing the Mishkan. The question was asked why a specific portion of the family of Gershon was selected (as it written “נשא את ראש בני גרשון”). Gershon was the firstborn in the tribe of Levi and since HaShem first singled out the family of Kehat from the other Levites family, here too HaShem elevated the selected few out of Gershon to take part in the holy task. From Kehat most important leaders of Kehuna and Levitates came out. For example, Moshe, Aharon and Miriam came from Amram who was the son of Kehat. This singling out came to show HaShem’s honorable way of choosing such a group to the service in the Mishkan. The chosen group was thirty to fifty years old, and they carried the holy vessels and parts of the Mishkan. The Midrash teaches us about a miracle that took place while disassembling and caring the holy parts of the Mishkan. The holy parts were weightless and practically carried themselves, just as it happened when Joshua crossed the Jordan River upon entering Eretz Yisrael. The word “Naso” in Hebrew means to elevate and to carry, and Hashem did appoint them to both carry and through their service, HaShem elevated them.

  1. Levi tribes had three sons, Gershon, Kehat and Mereri. 
  2. Gershon had two sons – Levni and Shimei
  3. Kehat had four sons – Amram, Izthar (Korach father), Hevron and Uzziel
  4. Mereri had two sons Machli and Mushi

The Zohar teaches us that the word “Naso” alludes to our Neshamah (soul) as it rises every night to examine our daily activities and record them. The actual method of “Naso”, as counting, also teaches us that the group of Levites chosen by HaShem chose was so righteous that they needed to be vet. These Levites were “hand-picked” by HaShem as they too were “Naso” by HaShem and were elevated by Him in the past and had no sins. By using the act of “Naso” as rise here, HaShem now allowing us to rise up and have our Neshamot (souls) praise him, as we are now “awaken” from our spiritual bondage in Egypt and have the Mishkan, the Torah and HaShem’s clouds of glory amongst us.

Our sages also teach us that here the word “Naso” refers to all the converts whom Yitro brought with him to join Bnei-Yisrael. HaShem elevated them and accepted their conversion, now that they are integrated into the people of Israel. We see how a full Teshuvah can elevate one’s Neshamah and merit the blessings of HaShem.

We notice that each Levites family had a different level of sanctity and holiness with regards to their holy tasks, of carrying a specific portion of the Mishkan. The Kehat family carried the Ark of the Covenant together with the holiest parts of the Sanctuary, therefore they were chosen first. Our Sages teach us that exactly the opposite happened, and the Ark actually carried the Kehat family. Next we have the family of Gershon who carried the tapestries and the hangings of the Mishkan, and therefore they were chosen second. The family of Merari, carried the supporting structure of the Mishkan, and therefore they were counted last. Our sages teach that the Kehat family was always engaged in chesed and good deeds, and as reward they were named and chosen first to have the highest part of servicing HaShem in the Mishkan. From Kehat came Amram (Moshe’s father), and his name means “Am Ram” (“עם רם”), a big and elevated nation.

As Jews we must have two qualities: being humble and submitting to serve HaShem with a happy heart and a will to rush to do a Mitzvah. In the book of Proverbs (“משלי”) King Solomon writes “Simcha LeTzadik Asot Mishpat” (“שמחה לצדיק עשות משפט”), meaning a joy to the righteous to do justice. When we do a Mitzvah with joy in our heart, HaShem rewards us greatly. Just as King David said in Tehilim: “Eivdu Et HaShem Besimch” (“עיבדו את ה’ בשימחה”), meaning serve HaShem in happiness. So too the selected portion of the Levites family did exactly that. They sang to HaShem while doing their holy work in the Mishkan, as it says in verse 23, “work for work” (“לעבוד עבודה”), meaning to sing and work.  The word “Simcha” (“שימחה”), happiness, comes from rearranging of the word “Chamisha” (“חמישה”), meaning five, the books of the Torah (“Chamisha Chumshie Torah”) that brings happiness. The word “Chamisha” also alludes to the five senses and their organs: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, as we must use each one of them to worship HaShem properly and perform the Mitzvot.

The Levites sang beautiful songs in harmony to all the people of Israel who came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices in the Beit-HaMikdash. Their beautiful voices made the audiences inspired and they waited patiently in line for their turn to sacrifice their Korban. The Music they sang both at Beit-HaMikdash (the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) and at the Mishkan were due to their specific choosing by HaShem. The question was asked “Why were the Levites selected to sing in the Temple? Because the name Levi means cleaving, creating a path. According to the Zohar (2:19a) “ones soul who heard their singing, at once cleaved to God”. The Levites served at the Sanctuary, were gate keepers of the Temple and singers over the offerings every day, for it is written, “And the Levite, he shall do the service of the Tent of Meeting (Bamidbar 18: 23). The Levites sang daily in the Beit-HaMikdash a special music that also appears in Tehilim and our daily prayers.

The Torah now speaks of the laws related to Isha Sota” (“אישה סוטה“ – a wife whose husband suspected of being unfaithful) and the option to make a confession in order to receive forgiveness and to avoid desecrating HaShem’s name. The first time such teaching of “Isha Sota” appears in the Torah is in the Parashat Terumah (“תרומה”), in Sefer Shemot. We learn from the double use of “man” (in verse 12) as it is written “Man, Man” (“איש איש”) when speaking of witnessing “Isha Sota”, a suspected wife who may cheated on her husband, as follows: a husband must have two witnesses in order to have his (cheating) wife brought to the Kohen Gadol and the Sanhedrin, and only one witness if she is just suspected of being in the company of another man. If she admits to have been committed such a sin, she is to be divorced and she would not be allowed to any other man. If she cheated but did not admit to commit such a sin, she is to be brought to the Kohen Gadol, and while being escorted in the public area of the Beit-Hamikdash, she is offered an opportunity to admit and confess. If she still refuses, she is given the “holy water” to drink, as well as to her male accomplice (the Kohen Gadol writes HaShem’s Holy name on a piece of paper and put it in water, hence “holy water”). If she is found guilty she will die with the divine powers of such “holy water” since she allowed HaShem’s name to be erased in the water. If the woman is not guilty the water will cause no harm to her. The word “Sota”, in Hebrew, means that this woman strayed from the Jewish people and from HaShem’s ways and acted as the Idol worshipers and the gentile people.
We notice in verse 5:21-22 a beautiful secret in having the “אישה סוטה” “Isha Sota” say twice “Amen” and “Amen” to the Kohen‘s oath. The word “Amen” in Hebrew has a numerical value of 91 which equals to both HaShem names: Yud, Ky, Vov, Ky (י’ה’ו’ה) which is 26 in numerical value and “Adoni” (“אדוני”) which is 65 in numerical value, together 91. This comes to teach us about the severity of such a sin and if a woman is found guilty she will be “erased” from both worlds, this world and the world to come.
In verse 5:28 we learn that a woman who was accused but did not committed a sin, is blessed. Rashi says that she will be blessed by having “white children and not black…” This is a very puzzling and somewhat discriminatory statement. What we really should learn from such blessings is the curse related to Noach’s son Cham. While in the Ark HaShem forbade Noach and his family from having sexual relationship, and even between animals. Cham (“חם”) had sexual relationship at night and HaShem punished him with dark skin and a cursed him that his people will forever be salves to his brothers. What Rashi is saying is that a woman who did not become a Sotah will be blessed with righteous children who will not be cursed with slavery. Cena-an was Cham’s son and he was cursed to be doomed, ill-fated, by Noach since his father sinned by “hurting” Noach while he was intoxicated (by preventing Noach from having a fourth son. See Noach verse 9:24-25). Noach cursed “Cham“ that every forth son of his future generations  will be cursed. 
Why HaShem holds the Jewish women with the highest regards, and at the highest levels, and places such harsh punishment on them in the case of “Isha Sota”. The Jewish women are the ultimate “partners” of Hashem and His creation, and they are the “light source” of a Jewish home. In Tehillim 128 we see such understandings of a Jewish woman: “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine, in the innermost parts of thy house; thy children like olive plants, round about the table. Behold, surely thus shall the man be blessed that feared HaShem”. Everything that HaShem created for Adam was completed with the creation of Eve, as she is called in Beresheet “Ezer Kenegdo” (“עזר כנגדו”). HaShem created Eve to act as “Ezer KeNegdo”, “in support of him” – of Adam. It is interesting to see that the word “Ezer” (“עזר” – help and support) has the same letters as the word “Zera” (“זרע” – seed) when rearranged.  That was in order to allow for the first Mitzvah of procreation.
Part of the process of the “Isha Sota” (one who is suspected of cheating) who is brought in front of the Kohen Gadol, is that the Kohen Gadol must “undo” her hair, meaning uncovering her hair. In the past (couple generations ago) all women kept their hair covered as a sign of modesty and for shalom-bait (“שלום בית”). We should know that according to the Torah, women do not need to shave their hair and be bald (as we find some religious groups do today). This new custom of having some orthodox wives shave their heads came from recent history of “acts” by Jewish women in Russia. While the Russian “Progroms” (“פרוגרום” – atrocities against the Jews) took place, the Jewish women did all they could to avoid the Russian soldiers’ sexual abuse and inhuman treatment.  They shaved their hair to be unattractive to their captures and this custom has been “adopted” as the standard in some orthodox groups. 
There is an amazing tie between the three parts of this specific giving: HaShem, Terumah (“תרומה”) and the Kohen. The reason we learn about such a tie between giving Terumah and HaShem, is related to the laws of “Isha Sota”, the suspicion a husband has that his wife might have cheated on him (in BaMidbar). When a husband suspected that his wife was unfaithful, he had to take her to the Beit-HaMikdash and the Kohen would carry out a special process. The Kohen takes this portion of the Torah from this Parasha (as HaShem’s name appears in it), mixes it with holy water, causing HaShem’s name to be erased, and has the woman drink this water. Our Sages explained that HaShem is willing to have his name erased for shalom-bait. The name of HaShem is included in such portion and the giving of gifts to the Kohen is immediately discussed following the test. Rashi says that when one doesn’t allocate such Terumah to the Kohen, HaShem will make sure that he will be standing in front of the Kohen with his wife in such embarrassing circumstances. By giving the Terumah to the Kohen one assures that HaShem’s name is never erased and he would not be placed in this embarrassing situation. An “Isha Sota” (“Suspected woman”) who is found not guilty would actually benefit from such “holy water”, as she will be bear children easily. The Kohen will not share such powers with anyone prior to drinking the holy water.

Yoram Dahan

Founder / CEO

Deja tu Comentario

A fin de garantizar un intercambio de opiniones respetuoso e interesante, se reserva el derecho a eliminar todos aquellos comentarios que puedan ser considerados difamatorios, vejatorios, insultantes, injuriantes o contrarios a las leyes a estas condiciones. Los comentarios no reflejan la opinión de, sino la de los internautas, y son ellos los únicos responsables de las opiniones vertidas. No se admitirán comentarios con contenido racista, sexista, homófobo, discriminatorio por identidad de género o que insulten a las personas por su nacionalidad, sexo, religión, edad o cualquier tipo de discapacidad física o mental.

El tamaño máximo de subida de archivos: 300 MB. Puedes subir: imagen, audio, vídeo, documento, hoja de cálculo, interactivo, texto, archivo, código, otra. Los enlaces a YouTube, Facebook, Twitter y otros servicios insertados en el texto del comentario se incrustarán automáticamente. Suelta el archivo aquí