Friday, June 2, 2017
Parshas Nasso Messages 5777
The Sages Say:
‘May Hashem bless you and guard you…’ (Bamidbar 6:24)
And guard you: “So that robbers should not come upon you to take your money. For one who gives a gift to his servant, he is not able to guard it from all people. And since they (robbers) come to close upon him (the servant, as is explained) and take it from him, what benefit is there to him from the gift?
But HaKadosh Baruch Hu; He is the Giver; He is the Guarder…” (Rashi HaKadosh from Midrash Tanchuma and Bamidbar Rabbah).
A “Lamdanishe” Insight:
‘Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them; any man that his wife will go astray…’ (Bamidbar 5:12)
The Torah now has a new discussion: That of a wife who, Chas V’Shalom, commits adultery -- or doesn’t, as the case may be. In the language of HaRav Nosson Scherman שׁליט"א:
“This passage deals with a woman who behaves in an unseemly manner, giving her husband good reason to suspect her of adultery, but there is no proof of either guilt or innocence. The Torah provides a miraculous process that will either prove she sinned and caused both her death and that of her illicit lover, or show conclusively that she was faithful and thereby restore trust and love to the marriage.” (The Stone Edition Chumash; p. 753).
The miraculous process of the waters was, as the Torah describes, the Kohen taking sacred waters in an earthenware vessel, taking some dirt from the Mishkan floor, and putting it in. There was also a scroll on which the Kohen had to write certain things, and one of those things (see Mishnah Sotah) was Hashem’s Full Name. He then had to erase the writing on the scroll into the bitter waters. And after so, the suspected wife was to drink the waters. If she was guilty, the waters killed her. But if she was innocent, they didn’t.
HaRav Yaakov Kamenetzky זצ"ל explains that, psychologically, a husband who seriously suspected his wife of acting inappropriately will still suspect her and not trust her, even if a court ruled her innocent. Only Hashem’s Own Testimony will resolve things.
Therefore, explains Rav Yaakov זצ"ל, Hashem, in this case, permits erasure of His Sacred Name in the bitter waters and performs such a miracle -- to set a suspicious husband’s mind at ease (Ibid. p. 754-755; from Iyunim BaMikra) and we might add, return peace to this couple’s home.
‘Holy he shall be’ (Bamidbar 5:6)
The Gemara derives from this that regular Nezirus is 30 days, because the word "יהיה" (‘he shall be’) is the numerical value of 30.
“From this it is possible to see, until how is the greatness of the strength of the Torah, for even upon one numerical value that is in the Written Torah, it is arranged upon the hands of the Sages however many Pages in Maseches Nazir.” (The Chofetz Chaim זצ"ל in “Chofetz Chaim on the Torah").
Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Nasso 5747, (from the Lubavitcher Rebbe -- Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson זצ"ל), Rebbe Chaim Miller שׁליט"א writes:
“Consequently, when we study the Torah now, after the giving of the Torah, we do not merely become educated and knowledgeable, but more importantly, our physical being becomes infused, strengthened and uplifted by the spirituality of the Torah.
To stress this point, the Parsha which we read around the time of Shavu’os is called Naso, which literally means “lift,” indicating how Torah actually elevates our physical existence to a higher plane.”
“From this,” he concludes, “we can learn that the Torah was not intended to be limited to the realm of the academic or even the spiritual. Torah should affect us deeply, to the extent that even our ordinary, everyday activities become uplifted as a result of our exposure to Torah, fulfilling the Divine intent that the “upper worlds” and “lower worlds” should be in harmony with one another.” (The Gutnick Edition Chumash).
‘And Hashem said to Moshe; “One prince for a day; one prince for a day, shall they bring their offering for the Dedication of the Altar.’ (Bamidbar 7:11)
After this introductory phrase, the Torah goes on to list which Prince of the Jewish People brought his offering on which day, and it goes into detail of what they each brought. The Midrash famously notes that, if you look, all of the offerings which the Princes brought were the same! In every detail! So then the question is asked; what was the reason the Torah has to go into detail with the offering for each Prince, when they were all the same?
But there is a huge lesson in listing it this way: It is easy to think, for example, during Minyan, when so many other people are Davening, does Hashem really care about my individual prayer? Does it really matter? I’m doing the same prayers as everyone else!
Comes along the Torah and it teaches us that Hashem never gets “tired” of our Mitzvos: The entire Jewish Nation could be doing the same Mitzvah at the same time, and Hashem would love your Mitzvah just as much as if you were the only person in the world doing it.
And this doesn’t just go for our Mitzvos; it also goes for us in general. There are so many people out there, but Hashem cares about each one of us. (Tal U’Matar).
(See Darkei Mussar on this, quoting from the Alter of Kelm -- HaRav Simcha Zissel Ziv זצ"ל -- for a very similar comment).
A visitor to the Chazon Ish (HaRav Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz זצ"ל) once complained that his Rav was not knowledgeable enough; he had no idea how much rain-water was necessary to make a Mikvah Kosher.
The Chazon Ish calmed the man down, saying: “Don’t worry, your Rav is a very learned person. Go to him, ask him his opinion and explanation -- you can most definitely rely on his Halachic decision.”
The Rav in question received a telegram later that very day from the Chazon Ish. It read: “PREFERABLE AMOUNT OF RAINWATER FOR MIKVEH 750 LITERS. NO LESS THAN 648 LITERS.”
The Rav was confused by this unannounced telegram, but when his congregant challenged him later that day, the Rav was able to nonchalantly answer: “The Chazon Ish maintains that you need 750 liters for a Kosher Mikvah. Why do you ask?”
The man was flustered, but he still did not trust his Rav’s expertise. He personally checked out the Mikvah -- and found everything in order. The Rav’s honor and erudition were thereby restored. (Visions of Greatness, Vol. VII; p. 144).
A Gut Shabbos to all!
at 3:01:00 PM