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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Naso

An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Naso

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The Torah assigns the exact Mishkan-related tasks to be performed by the families of Gershon, Kehat, & Merari, the sons of Levi, who number 8,000.

A husband who suspects that his wife had been unfaithful brings her to the Temple. A kohen prepares a drink of water mixed with dust from the Temple floor & a special ink that was used for inscribing Hashem's Name on a piece of parchment. If she is innocent, the potion does not harm her; it brings a blessing of children. If she is guilty, she (& her lover) suffer a supernatural death.

A Nazir is one who vows to dedicate himself to Hashem for a specific period of time. He must abstain from all grape products, grow his hair & avoid contact with corpses. At the end of this period he shaves his head & brings special offerings.

The Kohanim are commanded to bless the people. The well-known, three-part "Birkat Kohanim" that is recited in shul to this very day encapsulates the major blessings that humanity seeks from Hashem (see Dvar Torah following).

The Mishkan is completed & dedicated on the first of Nisan in the second year after the Exodus. The prince of each tribe makes a communal gift to help transport the Mishkan, & each donates an identical gift of gold, silver, animal & meal offerings.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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