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This week's 10-Minute Torah (May 22, 2021): "Parashat Naso" 5781

Updated: May 19, 2021

Parashat Nasso / פרשת נָשׂא

Read on 22 May 2021 (11 Sivan 5781).

Parashat Nasso is the 35th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Torah Portion: Numbers 4:21-7:89

This portion continues discussing the census and duties of the other Levite clans. The census was for those Levite men between the ages of thirty to fifty since they would be officiating. Gershon would carry the curtain and cover and lace-hangings. Merari would carry the planks, bars, pillars and sockets. They would also be assembling when they camped.

The sedrah also discusses restitution for someone who has stolen.

The sedrah then discusses the Sotah, or wayward wife. If a man suspects his wife of indiscretion or straying because she was secluded with a man in private, he brings the issue to the Cohen. The Cohen will arrange a procedure to prove her innocence or guilt. The Cohen prepares a meal offering and recites a passage. He then takes water, puts earth from the Tabernacle in it along with a scroll with the name of Hashem that will erase in the water. This is the only time Hashem allows His name to be treated this way. The woman then drinks the mixture. If her stomach distends and thigh collapses, she is guilty. If nothing happens, she is innocent and returns to her husband and bears children. This is the only supernatural judgement in the Torah.

The sedrah then discusses the oath of the Nazirite. This is someone who wishes to achieve a situation of enhanced holiness. They take the oath for a period of time, typically at least a month. They abstain from wine and other grape products, do not cut their hair, or touch or handle a human corpse. At the end of his or her term, they will bring a ram for a wave offering along with unleavened loaves. They will shave their heads and burn the hair.

The portion then states the priestly blessing.

The portion closes with the dedication of the Tablenacle. Each head of each tribe in turn brings their offerings over the course of twelve days, each tribe for each of the days. Their offerings are: one silver bowl and a silver basin filled with fine flour; a gold ladle filled with incense; one young bull; one young ram; one young sheep; one ram; and two cattle, five rams, five he-goats and five sheep as well. This chapter also forms the various readings for Hanukkah.

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