12th of Sivan, 5772
י״ב בְּסִיוָן תשע״ב
Sat, 2 June 2012


 * TORAH *

( Parashat Hashavua )
For Children
* NASO *

This week's Torah portion details the curious treatment of a wife who's suspected of adultery. While this ancient practice is no longer used today, is does bring up an interesting question: do we need to make mistakes in order to learn from them?  
In the Torah portion of Naso, we learn of the treatment of the Sotah, a wife who is suspected of adultery. Because her guilt cannot be proven by witnesses, but her husband suspects her and cannot forgive her without proof of her innocence, a miraculous test determines her innocence or guilt.
The woman is forced to drink "bitter waters that cause curse (Numbers 5:18)," formed of water, the dirt of the sanctuary, and the ink of an erased curse. If the woman is guilty, she will die; if she is innocent, she will be cleared of all suspicion. MORE>

God describes the service of the Gershon family of Levites; laws relating to the suspected adulteress and the nazirite are given; God tells Moses and Aaron the priestly blessing; the heads of tribes bring gifts to the Tabernacle.
God told Moses to list the service each family shall undertake for the sake of the community and in honor of God. For the sons of Gershon, from 30 years old until 50 years old, their communal service shall be to carry all the tapestries and hangings of the Dwelling Place of The Testimony. Those sons involved in communal service are numbered as 2,630.
The sons of Merari, from 30 years old until 50 years old, shall be responsible for all the beams and bars and pillars and sockets for the Dwelling Place of The Testimony. They are numbered at 3,200.
The sons of the Kehathite, from 30 years old until 50 years old, are counted as 2,750. The sons of Levites, from thirty years old until fifty years old, are numbered at 8,580.
God then spoke to Moses saying: "Command the sons of Israel to send away form the camp every leper and everyone who has become unclean. Both male and female shall you send away, outside the camp." And the sons of Israel did so.
Other opinions on the

weekly Torah portion

 * Parshat NASO *

 from Torah Topics for Today

 from Hillel

 from Orthodox Union

 from American Jewish University

 from AJWS

 from CLAL
 from KOLEL

 from Women of Reform Judaism

Statue of Samson in Ashdod / Israel

And Samson said,Let me die with the Philistines . And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slewat his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

 * The Birth Of * SAMSON

The Torah portion of Naso introduces
 the concept of the Nazirite, a person
 who takes a voluntary vow not to
 consume grape products (including
 wine) or cut his or her hair.
 The haftarah tells the story of the
 birth of Samson, the Bible’s
 most famous Nazirite.
The haftarah begins by introducing a couple from the tribe of Dan who are unable to have a baby. One day, an angel visits the woman. He tells her that she will soon be pregnant, and warns her not to drink alcohol or to eat anything unclean, because "from the womb he is God's" (13:5). The angel explains that the baby boy who will be born will be a Nazirite and prophecies that he will free Israel from the oppressive Philistine rule. The angel also issues a warning regarding the boy: his hair shall never be cut for as long as he lives 


 * KOOK *

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook

* NASO *

Birkat Cohanim
Aaron and his descendants the kohanim were
 commanded to bless the Jewish people
 with three special blessings:
Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying:
 This is how you must bless the Israelites. Say to them:
  • May God bless you and watch over you.
  • May God make His presence enlighten
  •  you, and grant you grace.
  • May God lift His face toward you,
  • and grant you peace."  (Num. 6:23-26)
The third blessing, however, is not so clear. What does
it mean that God will "lift His face toward you"?

The Suspected Adulteress
The integrity of the family unit is of fundamental
 importance in Judaism. For this unit to function
 properly, the husband-wife relationship must be one
of trust and constancy. But what happens when this trust,
so vital for a healthy marriage, is broken?
The Torah discusses the situation of the Sotah,
 the suspected adulteress. This tragic case occurs
 when a woman, previously warned by her husband
 not to be alone with a particular man, violates his
warning and is witnessed secluding herself with that man.

One of Rav Kook's most prominent disciples was
 Rabbi David Cohen. He was known as the
Rav Ha-Nazir of Jerusalem, since soon after
arriving in the Holy Land, he took a Nazarite vow
 never to drink wine, eat grapes, nor cut his hair. 
The Nazir edited and organized many of Rav
 Kook's writings into the four-volume magnum 
opus, Orot HaKodesh.
Who was this Nazir? How did he meet Rav Kook?
David Cohen was yeshiva student from the Vilna area,
 blessed with exceptional intellectual talents. After
 preparing himself for matriculation exams, he was
 accepted to the University of Basel in Switzerland,
 where he studied philosophy and classical
 literature for seven years.
However, the 26-year-old student was not at peace
 with himself. He prayed early every morning,
 and kept other mitzvot, but he felt his heart
was not in it. He suffered from an inner discontent.


The Complaint of the Angels
The last blessing of Birkat kohanim, the priestly
 benediction, is a request that God should be
 lenient when judging us: "May God lift His countenance 
to you" (Num. 6:26). 'Lifting one's face' is a
 Hebrew idiom for showing special consideration,
 especially by a judge. Is it fair that the Jewish
 people should be judged leniently,
 more than other nations?
In fact, the Talmud (Berachot 20b) relates
 that the angels raised this very question.


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