Parasha Nasso Practicing Fidelity; Measured Steps and True Repentance
Psalm 119;12 Blessed are You, HASHEM, teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I recounted all the ordinances of Your mouth. 14 I rejoiced over the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches. 15 Of Your precepts I speak and I look at Your paths. 16 I occupy myself with Your statutes, I will not forget Your word. 17 Bestow upon Your servant that I would live, that I may keep Your word. 18 Unveil my eyes that I may perceive wonders from Your Torah. 19 I am a sojourner in the world, hide not Your commandments from me. 20 My soul is shattered with yearning for Your ordinances always. 21 You rebuked the accursed willful sinners who stray from Your commandments. 22 Remove from upon me disgrace and contempt, for I have guarded Your testimonies. 23 Though princes sat and spoke against me, Your servant discusses Your statutes. 24 Indeed, Your testimonies are my preoccupation, they are my counselors.
-The previous portion or sedra, parasha opened Bamidbar (the book of Numbers) and ended with the census and stated responsibilities of the Levitical family of Kohath. The accounting and record of responsibilities of the other two families (Gershon and Merari) is continued in Nasso. Before we go on let us recall the final verse of sedra Bamidbar (which is connected to the chapters we will go into next, the divisions of chapters and verses is a modern phenomenon).
Bamidbar (Numbers) 4;19 Thus shall you do for them so that they shall live and not die: when they approach the Holy of Holies, Aaron and his sons shall come and assign them, every man to his work and his burden. 20 But they shall not come and look as the holy is inserted, lest they die.
There is such a beautiful, deep meaning here. The commandments of HASHEM are designed to bring life, enrich life, enhance existence and provide the route for which we can all live to the fullest, for HIM. If we are performing mitzvot or keeping commandments, or simply doing what we have been told so that we not be punished…we are missing the point. If one views, looks upon, see’s these vessels merely for their utilitarian functions and values they cease to be holy to that person and you will miss the connection God wants us to have.
Just as the Kohathites weren’t to “look” upon these vessels or metaphorically to “see” them simply for their function and benefit…we are charged as well, as we learn about them (and the entire Mishkan in all its incredible symbolism), to consider these or any other portions of the Torah’s instructions with the intention to understand their symbolism or we will cease to be inspired, as would the Levites, and will not conduct ourselves as servants of the Lord.
–Many people look at the Jewish faith with all of its rich liturgy and ancient ritual and consider, in their own perspective, much of it to be ‘lip service’ or physical practice for show. A pattern handed down or perhaps an archaic method of worship no longer relevant or necessary.
This perspective is not only uneducated and under investigated, but it is unrealized…most who hold this opinion have yet to experience what praying at the moadim (set or appointed times of the offerings in the Mishkan and Temple), resting on the Holy Sabbath of the Lord, celebrating His appointed Feasts and Festivals, donning a Tallit or Teffilin in keeping with actual text in the Holy Scriptures, worshipping with the Psalms of David in the tune and notes once sung by the Levitical choir.
I submit that these are only a few of the things that the Jewish people do, which preserve this sanctity and continually enhance a closeness to the Almighty. I testify that something which begins as ritual can progress into something other worldly, once you come to the door with obedience in mind…God will touch your heart. If these or any other religious observances and practices become heartless, and spiritless…they are pointless and it becomes strictly the performance of an operation.
–When we learn about and seek to fulfill the precious commandments of our Lord, we must reflect on its ultimate purpose and significance. What is God trying to show us, how is this pointing to our own lives and to our Savior Yeshua?
Bamidbar 4;21 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 22 “Take a census of the sons of Gershon, as well, according to their fathers’ household, according to their families. 23 From thirty years of age and up, until fifty years of age shall you count them, everyone who comes to join the legion to perform work in the Tent of Meeting. 24 This is the work of the Gershonite families: to work and to carry. 25 They shall carry the curtains of the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting, its Cover and the tachash cover that is over it from above. And the Screen of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, 26 the lace-hangings of the Courtyard and the Screen of the entrance of the gate of the Courtyard that were around the Tabernacle and the Altar, their ropes and all the utensils of their service, and everything that is made for them, and they shall serve. 27 According to the word of Aaron and his sons shall be all the work of the Gershonites in the Tent of Meeting; and their charge shall be under the authority of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the Kohen.
–There is an Authority in Whose divine order everything comes together perfectly. He has arranged you in the very place you are in and you have a specified purpose here. The Torah is a window into the Oneness and Execution of our Maker’s plans and they are Magnificent!
According to some accounts there are 600,000 Hebrew letters in the Torah. There were 600,00 men who went up from Egypt.
Exodus 12;37 The Children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men, aside from children. 38 Also a mixed multitude went up with them, and flock and cattle and very much livestock.
There are 176 verses in this (one of the most lengthy Torah portions) sedras, and there are 176 verses in Psalm 119. One of many Psalms and scripture that adjures us to remember the Torah and its eternal significance. Ensuring us the path that will keep us firmly en route to His righteous ways is the Torah. What will keep us from sinning against each other and against the Lord? His design, His Order, His Instructions, His commands, His Torah, Mashiach’s Torah, Yeshua’s Torah…the Good News declared from the Beginning.
Isaiah 46;8 Remember this and strengthen yourselves; take it to heart, O evildoers: 9 Recall the early events of ancient times, [see] that I am God and there is no other; [I am] God and there is none like Me. 10 From the beginning I foretell the outcome; and from earlier times, what has not yet been; [but] I say and My plan will stand, and I will carry out My every desire. 11 I have summoned the vulture from the east, from a distant land, [he is] the man of My counsel. I also spoke; I also will carry out. I formed [it]; I will also accomplish it. 12 Listen to Me, O fierce-hearted ones, who are far from righteousness: 13 I have brought My righteousness close, it will not be far; and My salvation, it will not delay; I will establish My salvation in Zion, My splendor for Israel.
Psalm 119;1 Praiseworthy are those whose way is perfect, who walk with the Torah of HASHEM. 2 Praiseworthy are those who guard his testimonies, they seek Him wholeheartedly. 3 They have also done no iniquity, for they have walked in His ways. 4 You have issued Your precepts to be kept diligently. 5 My prayers: May my ways be firmly guided to Your statutes. 6 Then I will not be ashamed, when I gaze at all of your commandments. 7 I will give thanks to You with upright heart, when I study Your righteous ordinances. 8 I will keep Your statutes, O, do not forsake me utterly. 9 How can a youngster purify his path? By observing your word. 10 With all my heart I sought You, do not let me stray from Your commandments. 11 In my heart I have stored Your word, so that I would not sin against You.
Bamidbar 4;46 All those counted of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted, according to their families and according to their fathers’ household; 47 from thirty years of age and up, until fifty years of age, everyone who comes to perform the service and the work of the burden in the Tent of Meeting. 48 Their counting’s were eight thousand, five hundred and eighty. 49 He counted them at the word of HASHEM, through Moses, every man over his work and over his burden; and his count [was] as HASHEM had commanded Moses.
–Have you ever heard the Torah referred to as the Yoke of bondage? A burden? This word Massah or burden has another meaning…tribute! The word Abodah is work or labor, it means service, ministering!
We walk in obedience because of the grace we have been given, and we are enabled to see the mark to strike for because of this beautiful gift and wonderful Burden. Where does one find restoration for his soul? Which yoke is it that makes the way easy? The Father’s Torah or the ‘Gospel’ of the Son? The ‘Old’ or the ‘New’? Were they intended to be considered as separate from each other? Or have they been and will they be ONE and eternal from the beginning to eternity?
Psalm 19;8 The Torah of HASHEM is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of HASHEM is trustworthy, making the simple one wise; 9 the orders of HASHEM are upright, gladdening the heart; the command of HASHEM is clear, enlightening the eyes; 10 the fear of HASHEM is pure, enduring forever; the judgments of HASHEM are true, altogether righteous. 11 They are more desirable than gold, than even much fine gold; and sweeter than honey, the drippings from the combs. 12 Also when Your servant is scrupulous in them. in observing them there is great reward.
Matthew 11;25 It was at that time that Yeshua said, “I thank you ,Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you concealed these things from the sophisticated and educated and revealed them to ordinary folks. 26 Yes, Father, I thank you that it pleased you to do this. 27 My Father has handed everything over to me. Indeed, no one fully knows the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jeremiah 23;33 If this people-or a prophet or a priest- should ask you saying, ‘What is the burden of HASHEM?’ Tell them, ‘What is the burden? I shall reject you!-the word of HASHEM!’ 34 And any prophet or priest or one of the populace who says, ‘burden of HASHEM,’ I shall deal with that person and with his household. 35 So shall you say to one another, and each man to his brother: ‘What did HASHEM pronounce?’ ‘What did HASHEM speak?’ 38 And if you still say, ‘burden of HASHEM’-therefore, thus said HASHEM: Because you said this thing, ‘burden of HASHEM!’ -when I sent to you saying, ‘Do not say burden of HASHEM’- 39 therefore, behold, I am [acting], and I shall completely forget you, I shall discard you and the city that I gave you and your fathers from my presence. 40 And I shall place upon you an everlasting disgrace and everlasting humiliations, which will not be forgotten.
Bamidbar 5;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the Children of Israel that they shall expel from the camp everyone with tzaraas, everyone who has had a tzav-emission, and everyone contaminated by a human corpse. 3 Male and female alike shall you expel them, so that they should not contaminate their camps, among which I dwell.” 4 The Children of Israel did so: They expelled them to the outside of the camp, as HASHEM had spoken to Moses- so did the Children of Israel do.
–Shalach =To send away, depart; cast (away).
In chapter five, verse one through four, the term shalach is found three times.
The idea of sending out one who could contaminate the camp is meant to point out how important the sanctity of the camp in which the Shekinah- dwelling Presence rests. We must strive to make our lives a dwelling place fit for the King to reside. For more on tzaraas:
For more on contamination by a corpse:
I John 1; 5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him-none! 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we are lying and not living out the truth. 7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoings.
–The Hebrew word (found in the Numbers text) yadah =literally-to use the hand; physically- to revere or worship; intensively-to bemoan (by wringing the hands); cast out; make confession; praise.
The Greek word (found in I John 1;9) homologeo= covenant; acknowledge; confess; profess; promise.
These words get to the core meaning. A confession is not just something that must be audible to the victim and verbally pronounced…it needs to be the base for an actualized change in heart and thus in lifestyle. It is a promise. Confession means a casting out of the old fellowship that would cause us to sin, and allowing God to make you into a new being, a vessel of praise.
Bamidbar 5;5 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Speak to the Children of Israel: A man or woman who commits any of man’s sins, by committing a treachery toward HASHEM, and that person shall become guilty- 7 they shall confess their sin that they committed; he shall make restitution for his guilt in its principal amount and add its fifth to it, and give it to the one to whom he is indebted. 8 If the man has no kinsman to whom the debt can be returned, the returned debt is for HASHEM, for the Kohen, aside from the ram of atonement with which he shall provide him atonement. 9 And every portion from any of the holies that the Children of Israel bring to the Kohen shall be his. 10 A man’s holies shall be his, and what a man gives to the Kohen shall be his.”
Luke 17;3 “Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 Also, if seven times in one day he sins against you, and seven times he comes to you and says, ‘I repent,’ you are to forgive him.”
The text above repeats the Hebrew word Shuv (which is part of the word teshuvah meaning repentance). Shuv- to turn back; recover; reverse; withdraw.
What is true repentance? It is not simply to cease from sin. It is to return to the origin of God’s plan for you.
The act of ‘confession’ is a prerequisite for true repentance. This means an admission of sin (not just to the priest, but first to the person you have effected with your sin, the fellow you have transgressed against.)
This confession must be articulated.
God has given you your life, He gives you the time that you have and expects that you would use it to elevate your surroundings and be productive.
Sin and transgression, is when we give in to folly- overcome with a passion or desire, when we sin…we have in a sense, stolen the time God gave us to be destructive in life and use it as pleases us.
ALL sins, done consciously separate us from God, in the opinion of the sages there is no difference between paganism, for example, and our own personal sins.
Are there levels of sin, is one thing less ‘harmful’ than another?
Wherever you feel you are ‘at’ with God, whatever ‘level’ of sin you think you have given in to or overcome, wherever you look to perhaps judge the weight of someone else’s trespasses, realize that each and every sin still has the same result- separating you from the Lord.
Thus the confession, which MUST come with remorse.
True remorse leads to real change.
True repentance means you utterly reject the past and work…to keep the promise of a heart change, to heal and build, using the time God has graced you with and not misappropriating it for our own flesh and guiding others to do likewise.
Galatians 6;1 Brothers, suppose someone is caught doing something wrong. You who have the Spirit should set him right, but in a spirit of humility, keeping an eye on yourselves so that you won’t be tempted too. 2 Bear one another’s burdens- in this way you will be fulfilling the Torah’s true meaning, which the Messiah upholds.
Isaiah 50;1 Thus said HASHEM: What is your mother’s bill of divorce by which I sent her away? Or to which of My creditors have I sold you? Behold, it is for your iniquities that you have been sold, and for your rebellious sins that your mother has been sent away. 2 Why is it that I have come and there is no man? [Why is it that] I have called and there is no one who answers? Is My hand too limited to grant redemption? Is there no strength in Me to rescue? Behold, by My rebuke I dry the sea; I make rivers into a desert; their fish become putrid for lack of water and die of thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens in blackness and make sackcloth their garment!
Exodus 15;22 Moses caused Israel to journey from the Sea of Reeds and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur; they went for a three-day period in the Wilderness, but they did not find water. 23 They came to Marah, but they could not drink the waters of Marah because they were bitter; therefore they named it Marah. 24 The people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 He cried out to HASHEM and HASHEM showed his a tree; he threw it into the water and the water became sweet. There He established for [the nation] a decree and an ordinance, and there He tested it. 26 He said, “If you hearken diligently to the voice of HASHEM, your God, and do what is just in His eyes, give ear to His commandments and observe His decrees, then any of the diseases that I placed in Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I am HASHEM, your Healer.
–The first instance of bitter water comes just after being delivered and redeemed from slavery in Egypt. Here the Lord tests His betrothed to see if His people will have trust and faith, if by His willingness to provide for them in all their journeying they will remain faithful to His proposal for life bound to Him in love and attachment, forever.
Hosea 2;16 Therefore, behold, I will seduce her, and I will lead her to the desert and I will speak to her heart..3;1 HASHEM said to me, “Go again, love a woman who was the beloved of [her] companion, yet an adulteress- like HASHEM’s love for the Children of Israel, yet they turn to the gods of others and cherish goblets of grape [wine].
Bamidbar 5;11 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 12″Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: Any man whose wife shall go astray and commit a treachery against him; 13 and a man could have lain with her carnally, but it was hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she became secluded and could have been defiled- but there was no witness against her- and she had not been forced; 14 and a spirit of jealousy had passed over him and he had warned his wife, and she had become defiled, 15 The man shall bring his wife to the Kohen and he shall bring her offering for her, a tenth-ephah of barley flour; he shall not pour oil over it and shall not put frankincense upon it, for it is a meal-offering of jealousies, a meal-offering of remembrance, a reminder of iniquity.
–If the man or the woman no longer desire to continue with the relationship after this infidelity or suspicion of infidelity there will be a process by which the marriage ends. The case of the Sotah- or wayward wife is one where the parties are willing and wanting to resolve the situation. The man brings the offering on behalf of his wife, it is un-anointed, un-adorned, a meal-offering of jealousies. The woman for whatever reason has been behaving immodestly and has caused strife in her marriage. If she is innocent of actual adultery this process will become a blessing as we will see, if she is guilty this proceeding is exceedingly formidable and couldn’t be more serious. This is why our Just God lays it all out here in His eternal Torah so that this woman can know exactly what she is getting herself into.
Zechariah 5;1 Once again I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a scroll was flying. 2 He said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll: twenty cubits its width and ten cubits its length.” 3 He said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the surface of the whole land. For [heretofore] anyone who steals has been absolved of such a curse; and everyone who swears [falsely] has been absolved of such a curse. 4 I have taken it out [the curse]- the word of HASHEM, Master of Legions- and it shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely in My Name, and it shall lodge within his house and annihilate it, with its wood and stones.” 5 Then the angel who was speaking to me went forth and said to me, “Raise your eyes and see what this emerging thing is.” 6 I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is an ephah that is emerging.” And he said, “This [because] their [greedy] eyes are in all the land.” 7 Then, behold, a block of lead was being lifted, and this one woman was sitting inside the ephah. 8 And he said, “This woman is Wickedness,” and he threw her into the ephah and threw the lead weight into her mouth.
–The woman’s head is unshorn, her covering and the sign of her obedience to her husband it stripped from her. Just as when Moshe comes down from receiving the Ten utterances or Ten Commandments, and he sees the people….uncovered and vulnerable. The Kohen is to repeatedly try and dissuade the woman from making an oath, in the attempt to have her evaluate completely her guilt or innocence before swearing before the Lord. The curse it uttered and if she is guilty she will die at some point a quite gruesome death, before the eyes of her community (just as this whole process is a very public exposure).
Bamidbar 5;16 “The Kohen shall bring her near and have her stand before HASHEM. 17 The Kohen shall take sacred water in an earthenware vessel, and the Kohen shall take from the earth that is on the floor of the Tabernacle and put it in the water. 18 The Kohen shall have the woman stand before HASHEM and uncover the woman’s head, and upon her palms he shall put the meal-offering of remembrance- it is a meal-offering of jealousies, and in the hand of the Kohen shall be the bitter waters that cause curse. 19 The Kohen shall adjure her and say to the woman, ‘If a man has not lain with you, and you have not strayed in defilement with someone other than your husband, then be proven innocent of these bitter waters that cause curse. 20 But if you have strayed with someone other than your husband, and if you have become defiled, and a man other than your husband has lain with you-!’ 21 The Kohen shall adjure the woman with the oath of the curse, and the Kohen shall say to the woman, ‘May HASHEM render you as a curse and as an oath among your people, when HASHEM causes your thigh to collapse and your stomach to distend. 22 These waters that cause curse shall come into her for bitterness.
–Moses administers this same bitter water test for the “bride” whom had stirred her Husband to jealousy. The people who were not involved in the golden calf lived, those who were participants would end up dying. The situation with the mother of the Master is very telling, it is Yoseph’s great humility and his deep love for Miriam that sought to spare her this test of the bitter water, for it had become evident that she was pregnant…he did not wish for her to be cursed and it is the angel who proves her innocent and she indeed is fruitful beyond measure! So too the innocent woman would in turn be blessed abundantly with the fruit of the womb.
Exodus 32;19 It happened as he drew near the camp and saw the calf and the dances, that Moses’ anger flared up. He threw down the Tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it in fire. He ground it into a fine powder and sprinkled it over the water. He made the Children of Israel drink. 21 And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you brought a grievous sin upon it?”
25 Moses saw the people, that it was exposed, for Aaron had exposed them to disgrace among those who rise up against them.
Bamidbar 5;23 “The Kohen shall inscribe these curses on a scroll and erase it into the bitter waters. 24 When he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter waters that cause curse, then the waters that cause curse shall come into her for bitterness. 26 The Kohen shall scoop up from the meal-offering its remembrance and cause it to go up in smoke on the Altar; after which he shall cause the woman to drink the water. 27 He shall cause her to drink the water and if she had become defiled and had committed treachery against her husband, the waters that cause curse shall come into her for bitterness, and her stomach shall be distended and her thigh shall collapse, and the woman shall become a curse amid her people. 28 But if the woman had not become defiled and she is pure, then she shall be proven innocent and she shall bear seed.
Matthew 1;18 Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yoseph, before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). 19 Her husband-to-be, Yosef, was a man who did what was right; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly, rather than to put her to public shame. 20 But while he was thinking about this, an angel of ADONAI appeared to him in a dream and said. “Yoseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ADONAI saves’] because he will save his people from their sins.”
–What is the lesson we all can take from the Sotah (wayward wife) and the trial by bitter waters?
This woman represents anyone who has taken for granted their relationship. Everyone has sinned, but from this sin comes the realization of many things…What do you really want out of the relationship? What does it really mean?
God shows us how important the peace between husband and wife is, He values it so highly that for the purpose of reconciliation He allows for His sacred Name to be erased.
Since our marriage relationship in flesh is to be a mirror and a shadow of what God has designed for us with HIM, we should take this very seriously.
We should be vigorously pursing this relationship with passion!
The idea that one can stray so far yet find forgiveness and even if we have acted inappropriately we are given the chance to prove that we have returned…just as Israel has, and will….as will Her groom accept her into His home…this idea causes us to realize that there is a level to be reached that has greater depth and permanence. We should all open our hearts to our beloved King, our Soul mate, and be driven by an even stronger yearning for a more meaningful bond with God.
Shavouth has passed, the celebration of the Marriage at Sinai, but we should continuously seek to reaffirm our commitment, renew our vows to our Betrothed and make a revived commitment to the Ketubah- the Marriage contract given to ALL men to keep and cherish, the eternal and living Word, the Torah in flesh, Yeshua Ha Mashiac.
Malachi 2;14 You say, “Why [is this]?” It is because HASHEM has testified between you and the wife of your youth whom you have betrayed, though she is your companion and the wife of your covenant. 15 [You ask,] “But did not the unique one do [so], and he had an extraordinary spirit?” And what did the unique one seek? Godly offspring! However, you should guard your spirit and let it not betray the wife of your youth! 16 For he who hates [his wife] should divorce [her], says HASHEM, God of Israel! He covers injustice with his garment, says HASHEM, Master of Legions! Guard your spirit and do not commit betrayal.
Ephesians 5;25 As for husbands, love your wives, just as the Messiah loved the Messianic Community, indeed, gave himself up on its behalf, 26 in order to set it apart for God, making it clean through immersion in the mikveh, so to speak, 27 in order to present the Messianic Community to himself as a bride to be proud of, without spot, wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without defect. 28 This is how husbands ought to love their wives- like their own bodies; for the man who loves his wife is loving himself. 29 Why, no one ever hated his own flesh! On the contrary, he feeds it and takes care of it, just as the Messiah does the Messianic Community, 30 because we are parts of his Body. 31 “Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and remain with his wife, and the two will become one.” 32 There is profound truth hidden here, which I say concerns the Messiah and the Messianic Community. 33 However, the text also applies to each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.
–Nazir- separate; consecrated; an un-pruned vine.
The nazarite is holy to the Lord, holy and nazarite both mean separate.
The nazarite seeks to elevate themselves by their behavior to a higher level of spirituality or holiness. An oath initiates the event, there is usually a time limit to the practice. They are not to drink wine, which is connected to the verses which precede these indicating the Nazarite is witness to the curse of the adulteress and desires to completely contrast this lifestyle. The Torah’s placement of these verses could suggest that it could have been indulgence in wine which either caused the sotah (wayward wife) to lower her inhibitions and moral standards and sin against her husband, or at least was the reason for her poor judgment and seclusion with the man who is not her husband. Wine can be easily overused and harm the lives and personal health of the person. “Wine has drowned more men than the sea.”- Politeuphuia 1669 proverb
It is amazing that in the verses below regarding these vows, it is Eli in who believes Hannah is drunk with wine while she is really praying and vowing that any son she will be blessed to bear would be a nazarite and the situation with Manoah’s wife who was secluded alone in the field with the man who resembled an angel relates to the spirit of jealousy and the sotah as well.
The nazarite is precluded from cutting his or her hair (hair is seen as the seat of a person’s vitality, pagan practices involved offering hair to their gods), and has the same restrictions as the Kohen Gadol (high priest) as far as contamination by a dead body, even his closest relative or spouse.
At the end of the period of their vow, the nazarite brings offerings which resemble those brought by the Kohanim (priests) at the time of their consecration into the priesthood.
Amos 2;10 I brought you up from the land of Egypt and led you through the wilderness for forty years, to take possession of the land of the Amorite. 11 I established some of your sons as prophets and some of your sons as nazarites; is this not also so, O Children of Israel?- the word of HASHEM. 12 But you gave the nazarites wine to drink and you commanded the prophets, saying, ‘Do not prophesy.’
I Samuel 1;10 She was feeling bitter, and she prayed to HASHEM, weeping continuously. 11 She made a vow and said, “HASHEM, Master of Legions, if You take note of the suffering of Your maidservant, and give Your maidservant male offspring, then I shall give him to HASHEM all the days of his life, and a razor shall not come on his head.
Judges 13;6 The woman came and told her husband, saying, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of an angel of God- very awesome! I did not ask him where he was from and he did not tell me his name. 7 He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son. And now, do not drink wine or aged wine, and do not eat anything contaminated, for the lad shall be a nazarite unto God from the womb until the day of his death.”
Bamidbar 6;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: A man or a woman who shall dissociate himself by taking a Nazarite vow of abstinence for the sake of HASHEM; 3 from new or aged wine shall he abstain, and he shall not drink vinegar of wine or vinegar of aged wine; anything in which grapes have been steeped shall he not drink, and fresh and dried grapes shall he not eat. 4 All the days of his abstinence, anything made from wine grapes, even the pips or skin, he shall not eat. 5 All the days of his Nazarite vow, a razor shall not pass over his head; until the completion of the days that he will be a Nazarite for the sake of HASHEM, holy shall he be, the growth of the hair on his head shall grow. 6 All the days of his abstinence for the sake of HASHEM he shall not come near a dead person. 7 To his father or to his mother, to his brother or to his sister- he shall not contaminate himself to them upon their death, for the crown of God is upon his head. 8 All the days of his abstinence he is holy to HASHEM.
–The idea of the Nazarite vow is one wherein a person undertakes to change his lifestyle in a statement of: “I don’t ever want to be distracted from Your Presence.” The nazarite is usually a single individual which makes sense, those of us with children and families, responsibilities that surround us can not realistically imagine that we will be able to create and environment where we will not become distracted from that personal time with HASHEM. However, I can testify that if you have a willing heart that longs to have this personal time with your Father, He will actualize this time FOR YOU. Additionally, if we can make worship and prayer, study and “speaking of His wonders” a consistent part of our daily lives and even distractions, you will notice how much richer everything becomes. This reminds me of the daily practices of the Jewish religion. In every single act throughout the day, HASHEM is blessed and glorified. There is prayer, blessing, scripture and remembrance upon awakening, before and after eating, after using the restroom, before study, after study, upon witnessing a beautiful sunset or even person, before we go to sleep. This is part of the constant God Consciousness which imbues the so called Jewish “traditions/liturgy/practices/observance”. I am not trying to convince anyone to adopt rituals for their own sake, I am trying to open hearts to the idea that out of an honest and fervently heart-driven performance of some of these things (most of which ARE scripturally based and ALL have definite meaning and symbolism) one can learn what it means to transform your lifestyle and live before the Lord.
The nazarite realizes that the excesses of this world can lead one to a state of “infidelity”, however the nazarite vow has been seen as ‘negative’ thing, why? The nazarite abstains from that which is permitted by God, and in this separation he is eliminating the practice of exhibiting personal discipline among the temptations in the world. Choosing and practicing moderation in all things requires each of us to be personally responsible and to walk with a very measured step. This is what we should all strive to do, meanwhile enjoy the wonders and delights God wishes to delight in with us!
Acts 18;18 Sha’ul remained for some time, then said good-bye to the brothers and sailed off to Syria, after having his hair cut short in Cenchrea, because he had taken a vow; and with him were Priscilla and Aquila.
Acts 21;22 “What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. 24 Take them with you , be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary, you yourself stay in line and keep the Torah.”
26 The next day Sha’ul took the men, purified himself along with them and entered the Temple to give notice of when the period of purification would be finished and the offering would have to be made for each of them.
Bamidbar 6;13 “This shall be the law of the Nazarite: on the day his abstinence is completed he shall bring himself to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 14 He shall bring his offering to HASHEM: one unblemished sheep in its first year as a burnt-offering, one unblemished ewe in its first year as a sin-offering, and one unblemished ram as a peace-offering; 15 a basket of unleavened loaves: loaves of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers smeared with oil; and their meal-offerings and their libations.
18 At the entrance of the Tent of Meeting the Nazarite shall shave his Nazarite head; he shall take the hair of this Nazarite head and put it on the fire that is under the feast peace-offering.
20 The Kohen shall wave them as a wave-service before HASHEM; it shall be holy for the Kohen, aside from the breast of the waving and the thigh of the raising-up- afterward the Nazarite may drink wine.
–Reading the text of Bamidbar regarding the Nazarite and his offerings upon the “completion ” of his vow in conjunction with the texts of Acts which let us know Paul took on a Nazarite vow and also allowed for four other men to fulfill their vow in order to ensure that there was NO QUESTION he himself upheld the Torah…gives us a great understanding of what expense and worth this was to him. Take a look at the list! It is very pricey! A sheep, an ewe, a ram, unleavened loaves, fine flour loaves, and all the libation offerings. I do not know what all was brought for these men but there were four of them! Very interesting.
Psalm 95; 7Render unto HASHEM, O families of peoples, render unto HASHEM honor and might. 8 Render unto HASHEM honor worthy of His Name; take an offering and come to His courtyards. 9 Prostrate yourselves before HASHEM in His intensely holy place; tremble before Him, everyone on earth. 10 Declare among the nations, “HASHEM has reigned!” Indeed, the world is fixed so that it cannot falter. He will judge the peoples with fairness.
Bamidbar 6;22 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: So shall you bless the Children of Israel, saying to them: 24 ‘May HASHEM bless you and safeguard you. 25 May He illuminate His countenance for you and be gracious to you. 26 May HASHEM lift His countenance to you and establish peace for you. 27 Let them place My Name upon the Children of Israel, and I shall bless them.
–The Priestly Blessing or Aaronic Benediction is part of our daily prayers. It is articulated, sung or chanted it is part of the Sabbath blessings over your household. The blessing does not come from the Priest or the person doing the blessing, they are the conduit, the blessing comes from God and flows through them. The priest was to raise his arms and put up his hands in the shape of the Hebrew letter Shin. In the human body there are 60 bones in our arms. The Master architect of our bodies designed all things with order and intention. The total number of Hebrew words in this blessing is 15, the Hebrew letter Samech is the 15th letter in the Aleph Beit. The total number of Hebrew letters in the blessing is 60, 60 is the numerical value of Samech. Samech is the endless cycle, to support, it resembles a wedding ring.
View this link for an mind blowing explanation of the priestly blessing: if you advance the video right to 2:00 (2hours) and spend a well worthwhile 17 minutes you will not be disappointed!
–This prayer and blessing begins at “May the Lord Bless…” Baruch- to bless; praise; to kneel. This blessing is a gift of HASHEM, borne on bended knee. The second part refers to Him turning His ‘face’ to you, He will watch over you and in our lives while we await the future wouldn’t it be a wondrous thing to walk and strive that our main endeavor be…that when we come into His presence at the end, He will turn to us and ‘smile’ when He sees His servants approach. Oh Lord that we all might live and die to see Your shining and glad face at our arrival! Please bring us close to You!
The third part is profound…HASHEM lifts His countenance to YOU. How is it that the Almighty God would be in a ‘position’ to lift Himself to any person? It is that He is our Father, and He has lovingly scooped us up into His mighty strong hands and as His precious child, He is lifting us high and proclaiming that He wants to encourage us and love us as only He can, and put His sacred Name upon us! May we live before Him and bless each other with hope and encouragement, bless our children with the word and eternal Good News we have been given, let us be alert and sober of mind, body and spirit alert that our conquering King will return and to him every knee will bow, and proper honor will be rendered…in the meantime while we await you Master please teach us what we are to do! Halleluyah!
Philippians 2; 1 Therefore, if you have any encouragement from me from your being in union with the Messiah, any comfort flowing from love, any fellowship with me in the Spirit, or any compassion and sympathy, 2 then complete my joy by having a common purpose and a common love, by being one in heart and mind. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity; but, in humility, regard each other as better than yourselves- 4 look out for each other’s interests and not just for your own. 5 Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: 6 Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. 7 On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, 8 he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death- death on a stake as a criminal! 9 Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; 10 that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow- in heaven, on earth and under earth-11 and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is ADONAI- to the glory of God the Father. 12 So, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey now when I am away from you: keep working out your deliverance with fear and trembling, for God is the one working among you both the willing and the working for what pleases him.
Bamidbar 7;1 It was on the day that Moses finished erecting the Tabernacle that he anointed it, sanctified it and all its utensils, and the Altar and all its utensils, and he had anointed and sanctified them. 2 The leaders of Israel, the heads of their fathers’ household, brought offerings; they were those who stand at the counting’s. 3 They brought their offering before HASHEM: six covered wagons and twelve oxen- a wagon for each two leaders and an ox for each- and they brought them before the Tabernacle. 4 HASHEM said to Moses, saying, 5 “Take from them, and they shall perform the work of the Tent of Meeting; you shall give them to the Levites, each man according to his work.” 6 So Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. 7 Two of the wagons and four of the oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, in accordance with their work. 8 And four of the wagons and eight of the oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, in accordance with their work, under the authority of Ithamar, son of Aaron the Kohen. 9 And to the sons of Kohath he did not give; since the sacred service was upon them, they carried on the shoulder. 10 Then the leaders brought forward offerings for the dedication of the Altar on the day it was anointed, and the leaders brought their offering before the Altar.11 HASHEM said to Moses, “One leader each day, one leader each day shall they bring their offering for the dedication of the Altar.”
–The Naso text of this Torah portion has been so incredibly full and rich, just think about all that is included. Here we come to the end of this section with the anointing and dedicating of the Sanctuary and Altar. There is a detailed listing of each tribe and the gifts and offerings that they bring. It is the perfect encapsulation of the whole idea of Shavouth, the Tabernacle, the future redemption of Israel and Messianic reign. The redemption from the slavery of Egypt, from sin and death…our engagement and marriage at Sinai, the giving of the Ketubah…the Torah and journey to find a way to revitalize our relationship and intensify out commitment to the Lord, He desires to dwell within His people and that they make their lives fitting for His presence…the tribes bringing their offerings one by one, special attention to each individual at the appointed time and place should offer us the greatest hope for the future…the remnant of the called man who caused separation from God by his sin, will come out of his rebellion in true repentance and return to friendship with the Almighty! We can, will, we must find the way to fulfill our created purpose and be faithful in fidelity to our Maker.
Bamidbar 7;89 When Moses arrived at the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice speaking to him from atop the Cover that was upon the Ark of the Testimony, from between the two Cherubim, and He spoke to him.
John 8;47 Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says; the reason you don’t listen is that you don’t belong to God.
John 10;27 “My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. 29 My Father who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hands. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Blessed are You HASHEM our God, King of the Universe, You alone have planted among us life eternal.
Blessed are You Lord our God, Gracious giver of the Torah.
–My King may You continue to call Your children, draw us nearer, change us for the better. Heal all the sorrows of those who can not see You now, cause our souls to return to their source…illuminate Your light in our lives and allow us to seize each opportunity to exalt You. For all that we ask You give in accordance with Your will, I ask that You write Your name upon me eternally and may I serve you forever in reverence. Please fill all the holes created by turmoil, may Your ways become treasured and desired and well known to us…soon in our days. In Yehua’s name I ask these things.
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Onkelos On the Torah- Understanding the Bible text