The parsha this week is Naso, נָשֹׂא , translated as “lift up”, covering Numbers 4:21-7:89. Naso details camp purity regulations, priestly duties and Priestly Blessings, the concecration of the Tabernacle and two odd items of note: the Nazarite vow and the sotah test.
Due to the sheer weirdness and anti-feminist stance of the Sotah we will cover that one first: A sotah is a “trial by ordeal” posted to a married woman suspected of unfaithfulness in which she is to drink a potion (twice) whose affect is said to reveal truth (cheaters will have swollen bellies and sagging thighs) ; the act of sotah is considered the only one of the 613 mitzvah that requires assistance from G-d. No , really.
Check it out at
Okay, now that everyone knows how to do that ritual, the Nazarite vow seems pretty simple-basically agreeing to be “consecrated” by refraining from intoxicating beverages and grape products,cutting hair and touching corpses. Samson was a Nazarite, and we all know how that turned out.
There are seven positive and eleven negative commandments in Naso.
Translation from JTS:http://learn.jtsa.edu/content/translations/naso/torah-portion/naso
Commentary on Naso can be found at:
Rabbi Ted Falcon: http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus/
And animated at G-dcast: http://www.g-dcast.com/naso
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