Oneg Nasso

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  • ?? QUIZ TIME??All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated.Answers can be found on back page. Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

    1. What is the signicance of the number 8,580 in this weeks parshah?

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    AThe Miracle of TeshuvaRabbi Dovid EisenbergRabbi of the Prestwich Hebrew Congregation

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    Warmest Mazel Tov to Rabbi Dovid Eisenberg and family on the occasion of the birth of their son. They should have continued Nachas.

    This week we read the longest sedra in the entire Torah. However, as all of us know, its length is mostly due to the fact that the are recorded 12 times and the exact same offering is mentioned again and again. Why are the these presents repeated so often? In a Torah that is very sparing with words and doesnt waste a letter for no reason, why did Hashem decide it should be included twelve times in its entirety?

    I was thinking that there might be a great lesson and chizuk that can be taken from this parshah. When the princes bring their offerings to Moshe he is unsure whether to accept these gifts or not. Then Hashem comes to him and says, take them and use them. What was this hesitation due to?

    Rashi explains that the had learned from their errors and were trying to make amends for an earlier mistake. When it came to collecting donations for the mishkan, the nesiim were sure that there would be a lack of funds. Therefore, they said that anything that wasn't given when the Jews had finished bringing their donations will be supplemented by them. In the end, the Jews brought everything that was necessary and the princes were proven wrong.

    To make up for this, the princes brought the avnei hashoham and the avnei miluim, which were very expensive, but the Torah still records their lack of alacrity and leaves out the letter Yud from their name to signify their reluctance to give immediately.

    When the Mishkan was finally completed and it was ready to be inaugurated, the nesiim wanted to show their remorse for the earlier lapse and decided that they would be the first to bring offerings and show that they had learned their lesson.

    Moshe was now unsure about whether he would be able to accept these offerings. On the one hand, the nesiim had shown proper remorse and even

    wanted to prove their repentance by being the first to offer something in the newly established temple. On the other hand, it was not for Moshe to decide whether they had really done a proper teshuvah . Only G-d could decide such a thing and therefore Moshe was waiting for confirmation from heaven to tell him what to do with these offerings.

    The confirmation came and G-d tells him to take them. The offerings were acceptable and they were to be used as the first contribution from the Jewish people towards the service in the new temple.

    I think it is for this reason that the Parasha is repeated twelve times. Each time it is repeated shows us two things. It proves that G-d had forgiven that particular Nasi and accepted his remorse. Each one of them had to prove themselves worthy of this forgiveness and just because one of them had been forgiven it didn't mean that others would merit the same result. It depended on the personal contrition of the individual Nasi and they all proved themselves worthy of this divine forgiveness.

    The second and more important message for us is the power of teshuvah. It is not to be taken lightly and is nothing short of a miracle. The Mesilas Yesharim says that G-ds strict adherence to truth would rule out any possibility of ever gaining forgiveness for a sin. How can one expect to fix something that has already been irreparably damaged? Nevertheless, G-d in his infinite kindness and mercy has allowed for us to gain forgiveness and to rectify the sins by a process of teshuvah .

    This is symbolised here by the repetition of the twelve offerings brought by the princes. Each of them was allowed to gain forgiveness and each time it was a miracle that bears repeating. The fact that the third Nasi received exoneration for what he had done is not to be taken for granted just because the first two had been forgiven for their sins. It is miraculous and it bears repeating over and over again!

    As we head into the summer and Elul is fast approaching, let us take this message to heart. Teshuvah is a miracle and a gift and shouldnt be wasted or squandered.

    S P O N S O R E D

    OnegShabbos "North West London's Weekly Torah and Opinion Sheets

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    30 May 15 "

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    London 8:49 pm

    London: 10:17 pm

  • ?? QUIZ TIME??All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated.Answers can be found on back page. Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

    2. Besides transporting the mishkan, what other service performed by the Leviim is referred to in this parshah?

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    AMachaneh - Community, Family, Individual

    Joel KahanOhr Chodosh

    The beginning of sefer Bamidbar deals with the setting up of the machaneh, Bnei Yisraels encampment in the desert. In parshas Bamidbar a census is taken of the people, they are assigned positions in which they are to camp and travel around the mishkan, and the leviim are also counted and given various jobs.

    Parshas Naso starts by continuing to describe the leviims numbers and tasks, and details various tamei people who must leave the machaneh, before veering off to teach us a series of seemingly unrelated mitzvos. We are taught the halachos of gezel hager, which discusses how one who steals from a convert can make restitution if his victim dies without heirs. We then learn about the sotah (a woman suspected of committing adultery) and the nazir, who must refrain from wine, cutting hair and coming into contact with the dead, before moving on to bircas kohanim.

    Rav S.R. Hirsch offers a beautiful way to understand this progression of mitzvos which shows how they are concrete examples of the way klal Yisrael are to live in their newly established machaneh, focused on the mishkan at the centre.

    He starts by taking a deeper look at the idea behind shiluach machaneh, sending those who are tamei away from the camp. There are three parts to the camp: the mishkan at the centre (machaneh Shechinah), the leviim surrounding it (machaneh Leviyah), and the rest of the people surrounding them (machaneh Yisrael). A metzorah, one afflicted with tzaraas, must leave all three camps. His sins of lashon hara and stinginess mean that he has no place within the community represented by machaneh Yisrael. A zav must leave the camp of the leviim. The leviim, as teachers of Torah and leaders of the people, must make sure that their family lives serve as examples for the rest of the people. Finally, a tamei

    meis, someone who has come into contact with a dead body, has to leave machaneh Shechinah; he may not come close to the Shechinah present in the mishkan. We know that the truly living part of a person is his neshamah, and that our focus has to be on improving ourselves and our relation with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, rather than on our bodies. Someone who has had a recent encounter with the bodys mortality may begin to obsess over the physical body at the expense of the neshamah, and will not be in the right frame of mind to approach the shechinah.

    Now that we understand the areas of avodas Hashem that the three parts of the machaneh represent - involvement in our community, strengthening of our family, and deepening our individual relationship with Hakadosh Baruch Hu - the next part of the sedrah flows very naturally. Gezel hager - we have to ensure our society is functioning with fairness and compassion, especially when dealing with those who may be on the margins of the community. Sotah - our families must be models of harmony and integrity. The Torah provides a remedy for a family where trust and honesty start to break down. And nazir - it is not only kohanim who are forbidden to come into contact with the dead in order to focus on their spiritual growth. Anyone can make a vow of nezirus and become like a kohen, removing his attention from physical, bodily matters in order to develop his relationship with Hashem.

    Finally we come to the three pesukim of bircas kohanim, which parallel the three parts of the camp: machaneh Yisrael, machaneh Leviyah and machaneh Shechinah. Yevarechecha - may Hashem shower blessings on our property (Rashi) so that we can use it properly, to help our community. Yaer - may Hashem enlighten us via our leaders and teachers so that we and our families can develop spiritually. And these two brachos together are to lead us to the climax: Yisa - may Hashem let His Presence be near to us and give us everlasting peace.

    S P O N S O R E D

  • ?? QUIZ TIME??All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated.Answers can be found on back page. Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

    3. On which day did Moshe teach the command to send those who are temeim(ritually impure) out of the camp?

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