• August 28th, 2022
  • Elul 1st, 5782


Shavuot Connection

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Torah Contributor

Shavuot Connection

The portion of Naso is normally read the Shabbat immediately following the holiday of Shavuot. Accordingly, there is a connection to Shavuot and the revelation of the written and oral Torah on Mt. Sinai. In addition to the extra spiritual Light received on Shavuot, Naso is the longest portion in Torah with 176 verses. This provides us with the longest physical connection to the reading. The low energy and challenging period of the Omer is now replaced with the energy of immortality and Light received on Shavuot and commencing with the reading of Naso.

The Zohar & Naso

The Zohar shares that the Idra Rabba or the Great Assembly was given on Shabbat Naso. The Great Assembly was a gathering of Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar, and nine other scholars in the Idra cave near the mystical city of Safed in Israel. It was at this Great Assembly that all of the secrets of the Torah and universe were threshed out and revealed. We can connect to this wisdom during this weeks portion.

Chanukah Miracles

In Naso we read about the consecration of the Tabernacle. The same sections are also read during Chanukah, where we commemorate the re-consecration of the Temple in Jerusalem after the destruction by the Greeks. By understanding this and making the connection, we can access the energy of miracles this week like those available during Chanukah.

Light Through Restriction

The portion describes the laws of a Nazirite, a person that wanted to become closer to and consecrated to G-d. The laws set forth include abstinence from wine, strong drink and anything made from the grape vine. Additionally a Nazirite shall refrain from cutting his hair, and during the period of his Nazirship, he will be considered "[H]oly to the lord". We see here an example of restriction being used as a spiritual tool to enable us to get closer to G-d and achieve a higher level of consciousness. When we restrict from bad relationships, a bad job, drugs, gambling or other negative actions or activities in our lives, we can similarly come closer to G-d and achieve longer lasting fulfillment.

The Priestly Blessing

We read in Naso how G-d tells Moses to instruct Aaron and his sons (the High Priests or Kohanim) to bless the Israelites with the following priestly blessing: "May G-d bless you and keep you; may the Light of G-d's countenance shine upon you and be gracious unto you; and may G-d's face be lifted unto you and grant you peace". This blessing was performed daily in ancient times and now is performed on certain holidays. The blessing is so powerful that members of the congregation are advised to cover their heads with their Tallit (prayer shawl) to avoid looking directly at the Kohanim giving the blessing or they will be "burned" from the direct Light of G-d. Through the blessing, we are imbued with the totality of the Light force of the creator and are able to internalize the Light in order to share it with others around us. It is a very powerful blessing which we can connect to in this week's reading. It is interesting to note that Leonard Nimoy (Spock from Star Trek) remembered this blessing from when he attended Synagogue with his grandfather as a child. The live long and prosper salute with fingers spread, for which he became known, is actually a derivation of the priestly blessing which is given with both hands.