Torah Tidbits

23 July 2014 / 25 Tammuz 5774

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Issue 1002
Parshat Naso
June 02, 2012
Lead Tidbits
Guest Article

Handling Criticism

Most people though find criticism more painful than refreshing. When criticism calls it usually provokes people to the following knee-jerk reactions…

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Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliya Sedra Summary

[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p’sukim in the parsha.
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva- count of Sefer HaChinuch AND Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva comes.

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Sedra Stats

NASO Stats

35th of 54 sedras;
2nd of 10 in Bamidbar
Written on 311 lines in a Sefer Torah
That’s a record breaking 7.4 columns
26 Parshiyot; 18 open, 8 closed
Only 4 sedras have more parshiyot
176 p’sukim, 2264 words, 8632 letters
Indisputably the longest sedra in the Torah, however you count length. Naso is well below average, though, in length of p’sukim, but not enough to affect its first place ranking
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176
Number of p’sukim in NASO, the largest of the Torah’s 54 sedras.
Number of p’sukim in T’hilim 119 - the largest perek in all of Tanach.
Number of double-sided pages (DAPIM) in Bava Batra, the largest volume of Gemara.
176 = 22 x 8. 22 is the number of letters in the ALEF-BET and therefore represents a wholeness of sorts. 8 is the number that is considered to be beyond nature.
In number theory, 176 is a happy number, since 1squared + 7squared + 6squared = 86 and 8squared + 6squared = 100 and 1squared + 0squared + 0squared = 1
176 is abundant; i.e. the sum of its proper factors is greater than itself: 1+2+4+8+11+16+22+44+88 = 196.
It is also a semiperfect number, since 176 = 2 + 4 + 16 + 22 + 44 + 88 (some of its proper factors)

MITZVOT
18 mitzvot; 7 positive, 11 prohibitions - the most of any of Bamidbar’s sedras

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Lead Tidbit

After the Simulation

Or is a better word, replication? Checking the definitions of both words, simulation won out for the title, but maybe simulation that approaches replication would be more accurate.
WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
At the Seder we say B’CHOL DOR VADOR, in every generation, CHAYAV ADAM LIR-OT ET ATZMO, a person must see himself, K’ILU HU YATZA MIMITZRAYIM, as if he went out of Egypt. Many variations of interpretations to this statement, but the basic message is that telling about the Egyptian experience - slavery and the miraculous redemption - as a once- upon-a-time a-long-time-ago story is not enough. The story has to be personalized and internalized. BAAVUR ZEH ASA HASHEM LI, because of this G-d did for me, B’TZEITI MIMITZRAYIM, when I came out of Egypt.
If we could do that, we would be replicating the experience. But we really cannot do that completely. The word in the statement from the Hagada that tells us that we cannot replicate the Exodus experience is K’ILU - as if. K’ILU means like, recognizing that it is impossible to actually reproduce, duplicate the experience.
But we can get close. That’s why simulation might be a better word. Simulation implies K’ILU.
On Shavuot morning, we read/heard the Torah’s description of MAAMAD HAR SINAI, the Sinai Experience, including MATAN TORAH.
In the third month following the Exodus, on THIS day - BAYOM HAZEH, they came to Sinai. Rashi asks, BAYOM HAZEH? On this Day? Should be BAYOM HAHU, on that day. That’s how you tell a story of an event that took place. What does BAYOM HAZEH teach us? That words of Torah should be new for you as if - K’ILU - you received them today.
There’s that word again - K’ILU, as if. Implying, as it did before, that you cannot really replicate the experience - but you can and must do a good job at simulating it. We are capable of the enthusiasm and excitement of re-experiencing the Receiving of the Torah. This is especially so when we gain a new insight, hear a novel explanation for the first time, etc.
And, just as we are supposed to do a good job at simulating both the Egyptian and Sinai experiences, so too is there an element of recreating the Omer period as it must have been the first time around.
But now look at the calendar. If you are reading these words on Shabbat Parshat Naso, then the calendar says 12 Sivan, the final day of the extension period for Shavuot.
Our simulations are done for the year, so to speak. (Not really, because remembering the Exodus is an every day requirement and every day should also be a new Matan Torah.) Let’s say, our official, formal, intensive simulations are done.
Back to the calendar. What’s coming up? Over a month from now we have the Three Weeks, etc. And beyond that is Elul and the Yamim Nora’im.
Those periods have their agendas. What about now?
With the Pesach to Shavuot period still fresh in our minds, we need to ponder our individual & communal plans for improvement and progress towards our lofty goals.
We need to be more grateful to G-d for all He has done for us. We must rededicate ourselves to Torah and Mitzvot - not just the learning and the doing, but the attitude as well.
Do you learn Torah? Do you learn it with joy? Do you learn Torah as if that is why you exist? Do you love it so much that you want to share it with others and help them see the beauties of Torah learning?
Do you do mitzvot and do you avoid violations of the prohibitions? Do you do these mitzvot with the right kavana, with the proper attitude? Are you motivated to do mitzvot by Ahavat HaShem and Ahavat Torah?
Or do you just go through the motions? Do you cut corners? Do you downplay the importance of Torah and Mitzvot? We hope not.
There is so much at stake - as individuals and as members of Klal Yisrael. We each must do our share. Then a bit more than our share. And we must be the role models for our children, grandchildren, and all our fellow Jews. Then the Geula will be much closer.

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Other Tidbits
Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

In Parshat Naso we meet the Nazir, an individual (man or woman) who takes upon himself a vow of abstinence for the sake of Heaven.  Essentially, that person is to refrain from drinking wine, from cutting his hair, and from contact with a dead body. A Nazir is considered to acquire an elevated state of holiness. Thus, the above worldly actions are considered incompatible with this new, upgraded spiritual status.
For Rashi the Nazir is one who has accepted upon himself a virtuous state and now disassociates himself from those elements around him that are tempting.  Ibn Ezra, however, considers this condition to be astounding, for it is truly uncommon for people to cut themselves off from worldly pleasures that are permitted.
This ambiguity relating to the Nazir is somewhat alluded to when the Torah describes what happens when the Nazir chances upon a corpse and becomes TAMEI. He (or she) is to bring a sin offering. But why? To cite Rashi, for not being careful enough to avoid defilement (Midrash) or, amazingly, for depriving himself of the pleasure of drinking wine (Nedarim 9a)!
Similarly, when the Nazir has completed his abstinence, in addition to elevation and peace offerings, he brings a sin offering. Why? For the Ramban because the holy Nazir returned to temporal pursuits. Or could it be, in some instances, because he tried to be “holier than thou”?

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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Portion of the Portion

Goodness is Always Remembered

In the middle of this week’s portion, as an introduction to the section of the offerings of the NESI’IM - the leaders or princes of the tribes, we encounter this verse (7:2) - “And the princes of Israel, the heads of their father’s houses, offered… these were the princes of the tribes, these are they who were over they who were numbered.” The verse wants to bring to our attention that the princes of Israel mentioned here were known to us from before. What about them does the verse want to remind us of?

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Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder by Rabbi Dov Lipman
Rabbi Lipman is an educator, author, and community activist in Bet Shemesh and also serves as Director of Anglos for Am Shalem. [FACEBOOK: “Anglos for Am Shalem”] http://www.rabbilipman.com

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Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

In the end of our parsha we read in part (Bamidbar 7:89) “Vayishma et Hakol m’daber eilav” - “And he heard the voice speaking to him”. The Talmud in Yuma 4:b deduces that the KOL was directed only towards him and thus only he heard it. Similarly, the Midrash on this verse says the KOL was directed to him and not to the celestial angels who did not hear. The KOL went from the Almighty directly to Moshe - a sort of one-way sound communication.

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Jewish Law

THE CHALLENGE OF MONEY by Dr. Meir Tamari - Ecology, Environment, Growth and Community [4]

Just as people’s quality of life is threatened or damaged when their physical environment is harmed, so too, they suffer when their religious values, spiritual growth, public morality or national security are disturbed. So protection of these is as essential and legitimate as from any other form of environmental damage.

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Word of the Month

Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of haChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

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In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

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Sedra Stats

35th of 54 sedras;
2nd of 10 in Bamidbar
Written on 311 lines in a Sefer Torah
That’s a record breaking 7.4 columns
26 Parshiyot; 18 open, 8 closed
Only 4 sedras have more parshiyot
176 p’sukim, 2264 words, 8632 letters
Indisputably the longest sedra in the Torah, however you count length. Naso is well below average, though, in length of p’sukim, but not enough to affect its first place ranking
###
176
Number of p’sukim in NASO, the largest of the Torah’s 54 sedras.
Number of p’sukim in T’hilim 119 - the largest perek in all of Tanach.
Number of double-sided pages (DAPIM) in Bava Batra, the largest volume of Gemara.
176 = 22 x 8. 22 is the number of letters in the ALEF-BET and therefore represents a wholeness of sorts. 8 is the number that is considered to be beyond nature.
In number theory, 176 is a happy number, since 1squared + 7squared + 6squared = 86 and 8squared + 6squared = 100 and 1squared + 0squared + 0squared = 1
176 is abundant; i.e. the sum of its proper factors is greater than itself: 1+2+4+8+11+16+22+44+88 = 196.
It is also a semiperfect number, since 176 = 2 + 4 + 16 + 22 + 44 + 88 (some of its proper factors)

MITZVOT
18 mitzvot; 7 positive, 11 prohibitions - the most of any of Bamidbar’s sedras

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Word of the Month

Last op for KL is Sunday night, June 3rd. That means Motza"Sh is even better, but don’t wait until then - take the first chance you get - the deadline is approaching. Why do we talk about KL so much? Because many people say it when they are in the right place at the right time, but do not actively seek out a chance to say KL on their own. Many shuls did not find the Moon on Motza’ei Chag because of clouds. The mitzva of KL is still active. Do it - even by yourself.

The fact that Israel and Chutz LaAretz got back together, so to speak, with Torah reading before Shavuot, fits with the “one person with one heart” Sinai experience.