Parsha Talk Naso 5783 2023

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Naso [Numbers 4:21–7:89] is the second parashah in the Book of Numbers. It contains the longest single chapter in the Torah [7, with 89 verses], and at 176 verses, is also the longest single parashah of the year. In fact, it has the most letters, the most words, and the most lines in the Torah scroll of any single parashah.
For content, it contains the conclusion of the levitical census, detailing the count of Levites between 30 and 50, and the responbilities of each of these families when the Tabernacle must be taken down in order for the camp to move. It take up some matters related to the purification of the camp, the ritual for the woman suspected of adultery, the ritual of the Nazir [the man or woman who takes upon him or herself extra religious obligations], the priestly blessing, and, the lengthy description of the tribal gifts to the Tabernacle.
Because this week Eliot’s family welcomed his first grandchild, a daughter born to his son and daughter-in-law, we talked about the significance of that event for Eliot, which led to a discussion of the priestly blessing and the meaning of ritual. We welcome your comments, either here or at [email protected]. Shabbat Shalom!