Naso- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 4.2: Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapters 4:21-7:89
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Naso
Meaning: ”Lift Up”
The Torah Portion this week is called Naso (נשא), meaning “lift up.” This week we finish counting where we left off last week and the Dwelling Place is set up and dedicated.
Chapter 4: Last week we learned about YHWH telling Moshe to count the children of Yashra’el for battle, except for the Lewites, that we counted from one month old and above. This week, we finish the counting with YHWH telling Moshe to count the Lewites again, but this time only the ones that were 30 to 50 years old.
Fun Fact: Why 30 to 50 year olds? These were the Lewites that would be performing the services for the Dwelling Place (and carrying all that heavy stuff!).
Remember (from last week) that the Lewties were split into three different groups, so the counts go like this:
- The group of Gereshon (30 to 50 years old): 2,630 men
- The group Merari (30 to 50 years old): 3,200 men
- The group of Qehath (30 to 50 years old): 2,750 men
All together, this meant that there were 8,580 Lewites from 30 to 50 years old that were performing services for the Dwelling place at that time. Bet that made disassemling and reassembling the Dwelling Place a little easier for every time they moved camp!
Chapter 5: Next YHWH reminds Moshe to send all the unclean children of Yashra’el out of the camp, as YHWH is set-apart and will dwell in their midst. So anyone male or female that was a leper, or was defiled for any reason would stay outside the camp until they were clean again. Then there was the matter between a husband and a wife. If a case arose were there was a husband who believed his wife cheated on him, they would go to the priest and she would go through a special test from YHWH. If she didn’t pass, YHWH would punish her. But if she did pass, YHWH would give her a special gift of having children for all the trouble she went through.
Chapter 6: And if anyone of the children of Yashra’el wanted to be extra set-apart to YHWH by making a Nazirite vow, they could not have any wine or strong drink. A nazir, or person making this vow, could also not have vinegar from wine or strong drinks, any grape juice, eat grapes or raisins, be in the presence of anyone passed away, and couldn’t cut their hair until their vow was over.
Then YHWH shared with Moshe the Aaronic Blessing, telling his this was how to barak (bless) the children of Yashra’el. It goes like this:
YHWH barak (bless) you and keep you,
YHWH make his face shine on you,
and show favour to you,
YHWH lift his face upon you,
and give you shalom (peace).
Chapter 7: Finally, when Moshe finished setting up the Dwelling Place, and anointing all the things, the leaders of Yashra’el bring an offering to YHWH. They bring 6 covered wagons, 12 cattle, and a bull from each one of them. YHWH accepts their gift and tells Moshe to use them for the service of the Dwelling Place. And Moshe gave these items to the Lewites.
Fun Fact: Moshe divides the items accordingly and gives them to the different Lewite groups, to help them when traveling with the materials of the Dwelling Place. Can you guess which group didn’t receive any wagons or cattle?
A. The group of Gereshon
B. The group Merari
C. The group of Qehath
Answer: C. The sons of Gereshon received 2 wagons and 4 cattle, since they were responsible for large items such as the tent and it’s covering, doors, and screens of the courtyard. The sons of Merari received 4 wagons and 8 cattle, because they were responsible for lots of heavy duty items, such as all the columns, sockets, and heavy items that held the tent up. The sons of Qehath didn’t receive any because their service was to carry to the set-apart items such as the ark on their shoulders. So naturally, they wouldn’t need a wagon or cattle for that.
And at last, YHWH told Moshe that the leaders could bring their dedication offerings for the brand-new Dwelling Place, but only one leader could bring theirs a day at a time. So for 12 days, a leader each day brought dedication offerings. All offerings were the same from each tribe, and when Moshe entered the Dwelling Place afterwards, he heard the voice of YHWH speaking to him from above the lid of atonement that was on the ark, between the two kerubim.
Fun Fact: The dedication offerings were brought by the leaders of each tribe in the same order as the camp would set out. East, South, West, and then North. (from last week)
East Side: Yahudah, Yissakar, then Zebulun (These guys would depart first.)
South Side: Reuben, Shimon, then Gad (the second to depart.)
West Side: Ephrayim, Menashsheh, then Binyamin (third to depart.)
North Side: Dan, Asher, then Naphtali (They depart last)
Day 1: Nahshon, from the tribe of Yahudah
Day 2: Nethane’l, leader of Yissaskar
Day 3: Eliyab, leader of Zebulun
Day 4: Elitsur, leader of Re’uben
Day 5: Shelumi’el, leader of Shim’on
Day 6: Elyasaph, leader of Gad
Day 7: Elishama, leader of Ephrayim
Day 8: Gamli’el, leader of Menashsheh
Day 9: Abidan, leader of Binyamin
Day 10: Ahi’ezer, leader of Dan
Day 11: Pag’i’el, leader of Asher
Day 12: Ahira, leader of Naphtali
Want to know more? Join us next time as we continue to read through Bamidbar (Numbers)!