The Portion of Nasso

Numbers 4:21-7:89

The portion of Nasso is the longest single portion in the Torah (the combined portions of Matot-Masei, when they are read together, are longer). It continues listing the responsibilities of the various families of Levites which began in Bamidbar. From there, it elaborates on several laws, including those pertaining to a husband who suspects his wife of infidelity, and the Nazirite who wishes to commit himself more fiercely to holiness. Finally, the portion ends with the contributions of the tribal leaders to the Tabernacle’s dedication.

 

 

Topic 1: The Responsibilities of the Gershon and Merari Families

Having detailed Kehat’s responsibilities in the previous portion, the Torah now outlines Gershon and Merari’s roles. Gershon’s descendants are to carry the curtains, sealskin, screens, hangings and cords which make up the outer structure of the Tabernacle. The Merari family is in charge of transporting the boards, bars, pillars, sockets and ropes of the Tabernacle’s… Read More »

 

 

Topic 2: Sotah: A Jealous Spouse

This passage deals with a very difficult subject: a husband who suspects his wife of infidelity. If there are no witnesses to back his claim, God Himself stands witness between them.   The jealous husband must bring his wife to the priest, where she brings a special offering of barley flour without oil or frankincense.… Read More »

 

 

Topic 3: The Nazirite

An individual, male or female, who wishes to take a vow of a Nazirite is forbidden to consume any grape products, to cut his or her hair, or to become ritually impure by exposure to a dead body, even that of a close relative. If he or she accidentally becomes contaminated, he or she must… Read More »

 

 

Topic 4: The Offerings of the Tribal Leaders

At this point, the Torah tells us the tribal princes bring six covered wagons and twelve oxen as a contribution to the Tabernacle. Moses divides them between the families of Gershon and Merari for their use in transporting the structure of the Tabernacle.   The portion ends with a lengthy list of the offerings brought… Read More »
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