Shabbat Shalom

Priestly hand signs

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

My Jewish Learning: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/Rabbinics/Talmud/Mishnah/Seder_Nashim_Women_/Sotah.shtml

Aish: http://www.aish.com/tp/i/m/48964791.html

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:

Aish:http://www.aish.com/tp/

JTS:http://learn.jtsa.edu/parashah/naso/5773?t=17-19-12-09

Rabbi Ted Falcon: http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus/

URJ:http://www.reformjudaism.org/learning/torah-study

And animated at G-dcast: http://www.g-dcast.com/naso

Funding for Whidbey Island Jewish Community was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Special Initiatives Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.” 

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