Weekly Portion: Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)
This week’s portion includes further job instructions to the Levites, Moshe is instructed to purify the camp in preparation for the dedication of theMishkan, the Portable Sanctuary.
Then four laws relating to the Cohanim are given: 1) restitution for stolen property where the owner is deceased and has no next of kin — goes to theCohanim 2) If a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful, he brings her to theCohanim for the Sotahclarification ceremony 3) If a person chooses to withdraw from the material world and consecrate himself exclusively to the service of the Almighty by becoming a Nazir(vowing not to drink wine or eat grape products, come in contact with dead bodies or cut his hair), he must come to the Cohen at the completion of the vow, 4) theCohanim were instructed to bless the people with this blessing: “May the Lord bless you and guard over you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His Countenance upon you and give you peace.”
The Mishkan is erected and dedicated on the first of Nissan in the second year after the Exodus. The leaders of each tribe jointly give wagons and oxen to transport theMishkan. During each of the twelve days of dedication, successively each tribal prince gives gifts of gold and silver vessels, sacrificial animals and meal offerings. Every prince gives exactly the same gifts as every other prince.
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based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Part of the blessing which the Cohanim, the priests, bless the Jewish people is:
“The Lord shall make His face shine upon you.” (Numbers 6:25)
One of the 613 commandments is to emulate the Almighty. What can we learn from this verse to emulate the Almighty?
The great sage Shamai said, “Greet every man with a pleasant expression of countenance” (Pirke Avos, 1:15) — in this manner, we are “shining our countenance upon others”. How can we have a “shining” countenance?
- Look at the Person — The minimum is to turn your face towards your fellow man; don’t greet anyone with the side of your face. Turn your face towards him/her.
- Express Interest — Don’t look bored or distracted.
- Feel Happy — to see the person and let your face show it!
Since God deals with us measure for measure, God makes His face shine upon those whose faces shine to their fellow human being!