Haftorah Reading: Judges 13:2-25
This afternoon we study a very important Torah portion. At first glance Naso seems to be a portion of disconnected subjects. We read the account of the Levitical families of Gershon and Merari and their tasks to carry part of the Mishkan when the Israelites journeyed from place to place. We read of the sota or the wife whose husband became jealous and accused her of being unfaithful. We also read of the laws of the Nazarite. Next is the priestly blessing. This prayer has been used by faiths other than Judaism. It is the oldest prayer in the world still being used today. This prayer is followed by a listing of the gifts brought by the princes of each tribe at the dedication of the Mishkan.
Torah Portion: P’kudei(Accounts) Exodus 38-40
HafTorah: I Kings 7:40-8:21
I would like to start today by looking at the title of this week’s section, P’kudei. In Hebrew it means, “Accounting”, not the profession but taking stock of what has been entrusted to us. Here Moses is settling accounts on everything the people had contributed during the building of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. This caused me to think of my own life and also I would hope it would cause you to stop and take an account from time to time of what G-d has given or entrusted to you. Have we, or are we using what He has given to us? Have we been faithful to use the spiritual gifts we have? Are we faithful in fulfilling G-d’s plan for our lives or have we been so caught up in living we have forgotten what or who we are to be living for. It is very easy to lose our way unless we take account from time to time. The path is before us. We are to walk in it, not just from time to time but everyday. He loves us and has a plan for us but we have to be part of fulfilling His will and using His gifts in our lives. It really is a partnership between us and the L-rd.
Torah Portion: Naso Numbers 4:22-7:89
HafTorah: Judges 13:2-25
Let us start with a discussion of the two questions I sent out. First lets look at the gifts brought by the Princes of each tribe. In Numbers 7:1-4 we see where six covered carts, led by 12 oxen, were brought before the L-rd. That means there were two princes for each cart and an ox for each man. Then each prince brought their own gifts but their gifts were identical. Why was each gift listed over and over if they were identical? I think the carts were a good example of cooperation between the leaders. They represented the people and this showed that the people were one before G-d.