Friday, June 6, 2008

Parshas Naso - "Humility is the Key"

I hope that you all had a great week. My apologies for not getting a Dvar Torah out last week. It was kind of crazy around here and Bli Neder I will try not to make a habit of it. At any rate, this week was one of celebration and Mazel Tovs for our readers! I would personally like to wish a Mazel Tov to Andy and Samantha Van Houter upon their Wedding AND to Dovi Lamet and Ilana Singer, Michael Schertz and Yael Koenigsberg, and Saul Haimoff and Sara Rosengarten upon their engagements.

Here is a little something...

QUICKIE/FUNFACT: This parsha begins with the census of the family of Gershon. Why was the family of Kehat, a younger son, counted before Gershon who was the first born?

The Kli Yakar answers that G-D wanted us to learn that honor is given first and foremost to those who are involved with Torah, even if they are younger. Thus, G-D gave the responsibility of carrying the Aron which represents Torah to Kehat, a younger son, and then counted that younger son before older sons to teach us the honor due to those involved with Torah.

- Courtesy of Rabbi Dov Lipman Shlit"a

Bamidbar 7:12 "Vayihi Hamakriv bayom harishon es korbano Nachshon ben Aminadav L'Mateh Yehuda"

"And it was the one who brought the sacrifice on the first day was Nachshon ben Aminadav from the Tribe of Yehuda"

In the above Pasuk the Torah oddly chooses not to preface the calling of Nachshon ben Aminadav by calling him a Nasi. Why is this? Rav Shimon Schwab suggests that the reason may be because Elisheva, Nachshon's sister was mourning the loss of her sons, Nadav and Avihu. For this reason the Pasuk chooses not to show the greatness of Nachshon ben Aminadav and lists him as a simple person from the tribe of Yehuda. In addition, we can now understand why the pasuk says "V'karbano" in the adjoining area to show us that Nachshon was clearly in pain for his sister's loss and therefore did not feel the simcha in the bringing of his korban.

The Tur writes that the Torah prefaces all of the Nasiim with the name Nasi except of Nachshon ben Aminadav because he was from the tribe of Yehuda. This gesture was symbolic of Nachshon or the entire greater tribe of Yehuda who both now and eternally will be held in high regard by society and that they will have to teach themselves to be humble. For we see in (Shmuel 1 17:14) "David hu hakatan – David he is the smallest." Even though he was the King!

We learn in many places that a humble person is not considered humble because of his actions but because of his inner self. Nachshon ben Aminadav did not see himself as a Nasi, even though he most definitely was. He saw himself as a simple man from Yehuda even though he was realistically one of the most powerful people in Am Yisrael.


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