Torah: Naso(Numbers 4:21-7:89) Haftarah: (Judges 13:2-25)
The Torah has many interesting mitzvot and these are a few; a census was taken in the Sinai desert, a total of 8,580 Levite men between the ages of 30 and 50 are counted in a tally of those who will be doing the actual work of transporting the Tabernacle. Then the enumeration of the Levite families and their duties, removal of unclean persons from the Israelite camps, law of jealousy, the Nazirite Code, the Priestly blessing, and the offerings of the Tribal chieftains.
Birkat Kohanim/Priestly Blessings: The Priestly Blessings(Numbers 6:24-27) was an impressive feature of the ancient Temple service. It appears in the daily morning service. On the major festivals in traditional synagogues, it is pronounced by the kohanim from the bimah. On the eve of the Sabbath, parents invoke G-d’s blessing on their children with the words of the Priestly Blessing. It is also recited at the conclusion of a service, at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and at weddings.
The Priestly Blessing: The priest was delegated to offer G-d’s blessings. The blessing consists of three parts: “The Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance unto you and give you peace.” The blessings for the sons of the family invokes the shining examples of Jacob’s grandchildren Ephraim and Manasseh, who although raised in Egypt, did not lose their identity as Jews. The blessings for the girls refers to the four matriarchs, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah, all who were known for their concern and compassion for others.
May this Shabbat bring many blessings for each of us, our families, our friends, our community and nation. May Israel have extra blessings for her people to have health, safety and peace.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder