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Posts Tagged ‘Parshas Naso’

Naso: A Donation Of Incense

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Parshas Naso is notable for its length, and its length is notable for its redundancy. The Torah minces no words, and therefore we understand that the repetition in the description of the Mishkan’s inaugural service is purposeful and laden with meaning. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that this is a reflection on the importance and centrality of the Mishkan.

“And the nesi’im brought their offering” (7:10).

The purpose of the offerings by the nesi’im was to enhance the honor of the service. When the most important men demonstrate their service to Hashem, the people become greatly influenced. “The princes of the peoples [the tribes] are gathered together, the people of the G-d of Abraham; for when the shields of the land [the leaders] belong to G-d, He becomes greatly exalted” (Tehillim 47:10).

Wealth and power are given solely to be used for adding to Hashem’s honor. “Why is the property of the wealthy confiscated by the [gentile] government? [One reason:] Because they did not use their power to prevent transgressors from sinning” (Sukkah 29A, B). When the wealthiest became reformers and assimilationists, they caused the greatest havoc. Sir Moses Montefiore, who was the most important Jewish dignitary in England, left a tremendous impression on the Jewish nation.

Because the nesi’im honored the service of Hashem, they were given the privilege of offering ketoret. Montefiore, by his loyalty to Torah observance, produced a fragrance of immense honor to Hashem’s Torah; similarly, when any powerful or prominent Jew demonstrates his fervent loyalty to Hashem, it is a ketoret offering to Hashem. All the offerings of the nesi’im were accompanied by the Minchas N’sachim, as required by the Torah, consisting of a minchah offering and also a wine offering as specified in Bamidbar 15. The Minchas N’sachim is not mentioned, for it is understood that this is required; but the ketoret is mentioned because it is exceptional – solely in this instance – that anyone could donate it.

“And he who presented his offering on the first day was Nachshon ben Aminadav of the tribe of Yehudah” (7:12). We might ask why the Torah did not merely say, “These offerings were brought by each of the nesi’im; on the first day was Nachshon ben Aminadav of the tribe of Yehudah, on the second day was Nathanel ben Zuar…” instead of repeating for each of the nesi’im individually all the details of his offering. All brought exactly the same offerings, and therefore it might appear as an unnecessary expenditure of the priceless Torah text merely to repeat again and again the same description.

But we must keep in mind the Mishkan had been declared by Hashem (Shemos 25:8, 29:45) to be His place of residence, thus making this the center of the entire universe. The dedication of the Mishkan was no less important than the Creation of the World: “A Mikdash of Hashem that Your hands established” (Shemos 15:17); “the handiwork of the righteous ones [that fashioned the Mishkan] is even greater than the creation of heaven and earth” (Kesubos 8A), and they are the Creator’s hands. Thus every day of the dedication-offerings by each of the nesi’im was no less momentous than the appearance of a new sun in the heavens that filled the world with its light.

Each of the nesi’im came with his offerings and incense to enhance the splendor of Hashem’s palace. If we would understand the vastness of the importance of Hashem’s residence among the sons of Israel, we would surely realize that each day of the dedication deserves to be repeated in the Torah.

Compiled for The Jewish Press by the Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, which Rabbi Miller, zt”l, founded and authorized to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com.

For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.

Parshas Naso

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 22 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
June 1, 2012 – 11 Sivan 5772
8:01 NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 9:16 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Naso
Weekly Haftara: Vayehi Ish Echad (Judges 13:2-25)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 11
Mishna Yomit: Yevamos 8:6 – 9:1
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 61:2-4
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Isurei Bi’ah chap. 12-14
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin 4:21 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:25 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: Perek 1

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapters 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.

Princes Indeed

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

“V’Hanesiim Heiviu es Avnei HaShoham v’es Avnei HaMiluim – And the Princes [of the Jews] brought the Shoham Stones and the Miluim Stones” (Shemos 35:27). The Torah relates how the Nessiim, the leaders of each tribe, donated the precious stones that were worn by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) in his priestly garments, the Ephod and the Choshen.

Rashi, quoting the Midrash, notes the contrast between the gifts of these stones and the korbanos (sacrifices) that the Nessiim brought at the inauguration of the Mizbeach (Altar). The Torah relates how the Nessiim were the first to contribute sacrifices on the Mizbeach (Bamidbar 7:1), while in this week’s parshah, their donations of the valuable stones were made only after all the materials for the mishkan were contributed.

Rashi says that when Moshe invited Bnei Yisroel to begin donating items for the building of the Mishkan, the Nessiim assumed an extremely supportive role. They informed Moshe that they would like to allow all individuals to donate to the Mishkan and they would then provide all the remaining materials needed for its completion. As it turned out, however, the people were extremely inspired, and brought everything necessary for construction of the Mishkan in a few short days. Since the Nessiim delayed in actually giving their contribution, all that was left for them to provide were the precious stones.

Growing From Errors

Rashi comments that the word Nessiim in this one place (Shemos 35:27) is spelled without the letter “Yud” that it usually has, due to the lethargic manner in which the Nessiim brought their donations. (In many instances in the Torah, a missing letter in the narrative of a person’s actions indicates a flaw of sorts in the person or persons being described.) To their credit, Rashi points out, the Nessiim learned the lesson of this incident, and were the first to donate korbanos at the inauguration of the Mizbeach.

At first glance, however, it would seem that the Nessiim acted properly. They offered their complete, unwavering support to Moshe and then stepped back and allowed the others to participate. Imagine the following scenario. A synagogue president mounts the pulpit one Shabbos morning and announces that the shul will be undertaking a campaign to construct a new synagogue for the community. A wealthy man pulls him aside later that day and privately instructs him to begin building immediately. He assures the president that he will personally provide any missing funds needed to complete the project. The president would be stunned – and overjoyed!

The Nessiim seemed to reply to Moshe’s request for donations in a similar fashion. What was “missing” in their response? Why was the letter “Yud” missing from their title? Finally, how was their donation of the stones an appropriate action for them to take at this time?

The Kli Yakar explains that the Nessiim were guilty of underestimating the sincerity of Klal Yisroel by thinking that they would not contribute generously to the call of Moshe. A true leader must believe in his people. The Nessiim should have stepped forward at that historic moment, offered the first donation, and inspired the other people by their personal example.

The Kli Yakar explains that that touch of superiority in the attitude of the Nessiim resulted in the departure of the letter “Yud” of Hashem’s name from the title of Nessiim. (The Gemaramentions on several occasions that Hashem’s presence is found in the company of humility.)

The Nessiim internalized the lessons they learned from the experience of their delayed contribution. They were the first to offer korbanos the moment the Mizbeach was inaugurated. (The Chofetz Chaimpoints out that in Parshas Naso, the Torahrepeats again and again the exact gift that each Nasi brought to the Mishkan, even though each and every sacrifice was exactly the same as the others. He explains that the Torah is teaching us the great value of working together, selflessly, for the honor of Hashem.)

Looking up to the Kohen Gadol

I would like to propose that the Nessiim offered the precious stones worn by the Kohen Gadol as recognition of the lessons that they learned from this incident. They sought to direct their attention and the focus of future generation of Jews to the Kohen Gadol – the spiritual leader of Hashem’s people. Simple folk and kings alike would turn to the stones on his Choshen Mishpat for direction and advice. By donating these stones, they validated the primacy of Hashem’s word in our daily lives, and the need to actively seek the guidance of Torah leaders on matters of importance.

How ironic and fitting it is that the stones that were donated as a result of the initial actions of the Nessiim bear the names of the Shevatim (tribes) but no mention of the donors of these incredibly expensive gifts. The individual names of the Nessiim are, however, read each year in Parshas Naso; as we remember their inspired and selfless acts of generosity.

The Nessiim teach us timeless lessons through their recorded actions – to lead when the opportunity for a mitzvah is at hand, to reflect when an [even well-intentioned] error is made, to correct our course at the earliest opportunity, and to turn to Torah leaders for direction in our lives.

Princes, indeed.

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is the founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, and the founder and director of Agudath Israel’s Project Y.E.S.

To purchase Rabbi Horowitz’s Dvar Torah Sefer, “Growing With the Parsha” or his popular parenting tapes and CD’s – including his 2-CD set on “Raising your Adolescent Children” – please visit www.rabbihorowitz.com, e-mail udi528@aol.com, or call 845-352-7100 x 133.

Parshas Vayakhel – Princes Indeed

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

        “V’Hanesi’im haviu es Avnei HaShoham v’es Avnei HaMiluim (Shemos 35:27) – And the princes [of the Jews] brought the shoham stones and the miluim stones.” The Torah relates how the nesi’im, the leaders of each tribe, donated the precious stones that were worn by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) in his priestly garments, the Ephod and the Choshen.
 
         Rashi, quoting the Midrash, notes the contrast between the gifts of these stones and the karbanos (sacrifices) that the nesi’im brought at the inauguration of the Mizbeach (Altar). The Torah relates how the nesi’im were the first to contribute sacrifices on the Mizbeach (Bamidbar 7:1), while in this week’s parshah, their donations of the valuable stones were made only after all the materials for the Mishkan were contributed.
 
         Rashi says that when Moshe invited Bnei Yisrael to begin donating items for the building of the Mishkan, the nesi’im assumed an extremely supportive role. They informed Moshe that they would like to allow all individuals to donate to the Mishkan, and they would then procure all the missing materials needed for its completion. As it turned out, however, the people were extremely enthused, and brought everything necessary for construction of the Mishkan in a few short days. Since the nesi’im delayed in actually giving their contribution, all that was left for them to provide was the precious stones.
 

Growing From Errors

 

         Rashi comments that the word nesi’im in this one place (Shemos 35:27) is spelled without the letter ‘yud‘ that it usually has, due to the lethargic manner in which the nesi’im brought their benefaction. (In many instances in the Torah, a missing letter in the narrative of a person’s actions indicates a flaw of sorts in the person or persons being described.) To their credit, Rashi points out, the nesi’im learned the lesson of this incident, and were the first to donate karbanos at the inauguration of the Mizbeach.
 
         At first glance, however, it would seem that the nesi’im acted properly. They offered their complete, unwavering support to Moshe and then stepped back and allowed the others to participate. Imagine the following scenario: A synagogue president ascends the pulpit one Shabbos morning and announces that the shul will be undertaking a campaign to construct a new synagogue for the community. A wealthy man pulls him aside later that day and privately instructs him to begin building immediately. He assures the president that he will personally provide any missing funds needed to complete the project. The president would be stunned – and overjoyed!
 
         The nesi’im seemed to reply to Moshe’s request for donations in a similar fashion. What was “missing” in their response? Why was the letter ‘yud‘ missing from their title? Finally, how was their endowment of the stones an appropriate action for them to take at this time?
 
         Kli Yakar explains that the nesi’im were guilty of underestimating the sincerity of Klal Yisrael by thinking that they would not contribute generously to the call of Moshe. A true leader must believe in his people. The nesi’im should have stepped forward at that historic moment, offered the first contribution, and inspired the other people by their personal example. Kli Yakar explains that that touch of superiority in the attitude of the nesi’im resulted in the departure of the letter ‘yud‘ of Hashem’s name from the title of nesi’im. (The Gemara mentions on several occasions that Hashem’s presence is found in the company of humility.)
 
         The nesi’im internalized the lessons they learned from the experience of their delayed gifts. They were the first to offer karbanos the moment the Mizbeach was inaugurated. (The Chofetz Chaim points out that in Parshas Naso, the Torah repeats again and again the exact gift that each nasi brought to the Mishkan, even though each and every sacrifice was exactly the same as the others. He explains that the Torah is teaching us the great value of working together, selflessly, for the honor of Hashem.)
 

Looking up to the Kohen Gadol

 

         I would like to propose that the nesi’im offered the precious stones worn by the Kohen Gadol as recognition of the lessons they learned from this incident. They sought to direct their attention and the focus of future generation of Jews to the Kohen Gadol – the spiritual leader of Hashem’s people. Simple folk and kings alike would turn to the stones on his Choshen Mishpat for direction and advice. By donating these stones, they validated the primacy of Hashem’s word in our daily lives, and the need to actively seek the guidance of Torah leaders on matters of importance.
 
         How ironic and fitting it is that the stones that were donated as a result of the initial actions of the nesi’im bear the names of the shevatim (tribes) but no mention of the donors of these incredibly expensive gifts. The individual names of the nesi’im are, however, read each year in Parshas Naso, as we remember their inspired and selfless acts of generosity.
 
         The nesi’im are teaching us timeless lessons through their recorded actions – to lead when the opportunity for a mitzvah is at hand, to reflect when an (even well-intentioned) error is made, to correct our course at the earliest opportunity, and to turn to Torah leaders for direction in our lives.
 
         Princes indeed!
 

         Best wishes for a Gutten Shabbos.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-vayakhel-princes-indeed-2/2007/03/14/

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