TORAH READING FOR 7 SIVAN 5783 May 26-27, 2023
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/naso-i
Naso I (I נָשֹׂא – Hebrew for “Take a Census”) – Numbers 4:21-5:31
The Eternal One spoke to Moses: “Take a census of the Gershonites also, by their ancestral house and by their clans.” – Numbers 4:21-22
- A census of the Gershonites, Merarites, and Koathites between the ages of thirty and fifty is conducted and their duties in the Tabernacle are detailed. (4:21-49)
- God speaks to Moses concerning what to do with ritually unclean people, repentant individuals, and those who are suspected of adultery. (5:1-31)
NOTE: Sometimes Parashat Naso is separated into Naso I and Naso II as follows:
Naso I (Numbers 4:21-5:31)
Naso II (Numbers 6:1-7:89)
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naso_(parashah)#
Connection between the haftarah and the parashah]
Both the parashah and the haftarah relate to the nazirite status. Both the parashah and the haftarah speak of abstention from “wine and strong drink.” And both the parashah and the haftarah note that “no razor shall come upon his head.”
The parashah and the haftarah do differ, however, about some aspects of the nazirite status. While the parashah addresses one voluntarily becoming a nazirite, the haftarah speaks of one committed by another to nazirite status from birth. And while the parashah contemplates the nazirite period coming to a close, the haftarah envisions a lifetime commitment.
In his career after the haftarah, Samson proceeded to violate each of the three nazirite prohibitions. He apparently consumed intoxicants, frequently came in contact with the dead, and ultimately allowed his hair to be cut.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/naso-i
By: Rabbi Leah R. Berkowitz
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the portion from the Book of Numbers that is read on this Shabbat, we will read the Haftarah (a selection from the prophets) from Judges 13:2-12. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Numbers.4.21-5.31, and the Haftarah at https://www.sefaria.org/Judges.13.2-12
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
נשא Naso I – Numbers 4:21–5:31
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Judith Hauptman, pp. 836-7
When men or women individually commit any wrong (5:6). This is one of only a few places in the Torah where a woman is mentioned as committing a wrong and being punished for it. The Rabbis of the Talmud derive from this passage the principle that men and women are to be treated alike with regard to punishment for all kinds of misbehavior (BT Bava Kama 15a).
If any wife has gone astray (5:12). This passage speaks of a woman whom her husband accuses of adultery, even though he has insufficient evidence to convict her. The Rabbis later developed Numbers 5:11–31 into an entire tractate in the Talmud, called Sotah, “the errant wife.” It describes in detail the ordeal that she will endure, filling in much that the Torah does not mention, but also encasing this ritual in a set of rules that transform it into an unusual and infrequent event. According to Mishnah Sotah 1:1, only if a husband warns his wife in advance not to seclude herself with a particular man, and only if there are witnesses to the warning and to the act of seclusion, only then may he force her to go with him to the Temple. Since such a complex sequence of events is unlikely to happen, the chances of administering this degrading ritual decrease dramatically. The Rabbis also stipulate, based on close reading of the biblical verses, that the waters would test not only the woman suspected of infidelity but also her supposed partner. They add that if a jealous husband had himself committed adultery in the past, then the waters would not be able to harm his wife (BT Sotah 47b).
According to Mishnah Sotah 9:9, this ritual was abolished toward the end of the Second Temple period. [That mishnah attributes the suspension of the ritual to Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, who acted in light of a proliferation in adultery during that era. He cited the prophet Hosea to explain why it was no longer meaningful to accuse wives of unfaithfulness in an atmosphere of widespread dissipation: “I will not punish their daughters for fornicating / Nor their daughters-in-law for committing adultery; / For they themselves turn aside with whores / And sacrifice with prostitutes, / And a people that is without sense must stumble” (4:14). – Ed.] The Rabbis viewed the errant wife was a metaphor for the entire Jewish people, whose betrayal of God and divine commandments was understood to have led to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 7 Sivan through 13 Sivan, we lovingly remember:
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, May 26, 2023. We will discuss Haftarah Judges 13:2-12.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah Naso I: Judges 13:2-12
Time: May 26, 2023 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: May 26, 2023 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat – Gut Shabbos!
PS – About the Book of Judges:
From Jewish Encyclopedia
Timelines from Wikipedia