Shabbat shalom, mishpocah (friends/family). As always, a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion can be found on our website. This week’s Torah portion is Parashah 35: Nazo (Take) -
(Numbers 4:21 through 7:89) Please read the synopsis and then read the entire portion, along with the Haftarah (Prophets) and Brit Chadasha (New Testament) portions, in your Bible.
This week's parashah covers a multitude of commands, and one can only imagine the magnitude of the undertaking of 600,000 Israeli men, plus the women, and the "mixed multitude" totaling more than 2 million people attempting to do YHWH's will!
Parashah Naso also covers something extremely important: YHWH's command for proper B'racha - Blessing.
Did you know the first words the human being heard YHWH speak were words of blessing? That's right! It appears in Genesis 1:28. Right after He created man in His own image, Torah tells us YHWH "blessed them", telling them to "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and every living creature that crawls on earth."
Whether we realize it, or not, we all long for blessings....The word "blessing" is tossed around constantly in religious circles; and it's basically just another meaningless, overused, religious cliche. But the thing is, receiving a blessing from our heavenly Father should stir our souls and cause us to be joyous!
So - after addressing the negative things (the loss of trust, jealousy, vengeance and punishments) and the positive things (the Nazir's life of piety and dedication to YHWH and all humanity) of human existence, the Parashah is interrupted in Numbers 6:24-26 by YHWH instructing the priests how to bless the people! He provides a few words through which we are given the ability to constantly remind ourselves and each other that YHWH is conscious of our existence, and that we are truly blessed. Take a look:
Y'varechecha YHWH [May YHWH bless you]
v'yish'merecha [and zealously cherish and keep watch over you]
Ya'er YHWH panav elecha [May YHWH's Face shine upon you]
v'chuneka [and shower you with grace]
Yisa YHWH panav elecha [May YHWH lift up His countenance upon you]
v'yasem lecha shalom [and may He give you wholeness, wellness, security, abundant provision, and peace].
The pronunciation of this blessing over our wives/husbands/children is a wonderful thing that resounds through the distance and rests upon those who have been blessed - whoever and wherever they are, whether they know it or not....
Such is the power of the blessing which is the very Word of YHWH, our Creator!
To grasp the enormity of the things YHWH accomplished, please click on the link above. Shabbat shalom!