16th of Nisan, 5774
Pesach II
1st day of the Omer


Parashot Naso

Children's Parshat

Parashat Naso

[Hebrew] Naso
Numbers (BeMidbar) 4:21 -7:89

Counting the Levites that work

HaShem spoke to Moses, saying:
You should also take a census of Gershon’s descendants by families, following the paternal line. Take a tally of those from 30 to 50 years old, who are fit for duty in the Communion Tent’s service.

The Gershonite family will serve by maintaining and carrying, as follows:

They will carry the Tabernacle’s tapestries, the Communion Tent, the roof, the over-roof of blue processed skins that is above it, the drape at the Communion Tent entrance, the enclosure’s hanging, the drape at the entrance to the enclosure around the Tabernacle and altar, the guy-ropes (these are the ropes that hold down tents), all their appropriate tools, and everything necessary for their maintenance. All the carrying and maintenance service of the Gershonites shall be under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. The Gershonites will have fixed positions (in the sense of jobs) for everything they carry.

The above is the Gershonite family’s service for the Communion tent. Their duties will be under the supervision of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

Take a tally of Merari’s descendants by family, following the paternal line. Take the tally of those from 30 to 50 years old, all who are fit for duty in the Communion Tent’s service.

They will be entrusted to carry and maintain the following items in the Communion Tent: the beams, crossbars, pillars, and bases of the Tabernacle; the pillars of the surrounding enclosure, their bases, stakes, and guy-ropes, all their tools, and all their maintenance equipment.. They will be appointed by name to carry all the articles with which they are entrusted.

The above is the work comprising the entire service of Merari’s descendants in the Communion Tent. It will be under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

Moses, Aaron and the communal leaders took a tally of the descendants of the Kehothites by family, including everyone from 30 to 50 years old who was fit for duty in the Communion Tent’s service. Their tally was 2,750.

The Kehothite family, for all who served in the Communion Tent, as taken by Moses and Aaron. It was done as HaShem had directed Moses.

The tally of Gershon’s descendants was 2,630.

The tally of Merari’s descendants was 3,200.

This is the entire tally that Moses, Aaron and the communal leaders took of the Levites. Their tally was 8,580.

They were thus counted by Moses at HaShem’s bidding, each individual according to his service, what he would carry, and his appointed task, as HaShem had commanded Moses.

Purity of the camp

HaShem spoke to Moses, saying:

Instruct the Israelites to send out of the camp everyone who has a leprous mark or a male discharge, and all who are ritually defiled by the dead. Whether they are male or female they must be sent out of the camp so that they do not defile (make impure) their camp where I dwell among them.

The Israelites did this, sending all impure people out of the camp. The Israelites did exactly as HaShem had told Moses.

HaShem spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites:

If a man or woman sins against his fellow man, in this way being untrue to HaShem, and becoming guilty of a crime, he must confess the sin that he has committed. He must then make restitution of the principle (main amount) plus a 20% tax, and give it to the victim of his crime.

If there is no relative to whom the dishonest gain can be returned, it must be returned to HaShem, and given to the priest. This is in addition to the atonement ram through which the wrongdoer’s sin is paid back and forgiven.

All the sacred offerings that the Israelites present as elevated gifts to the priest will become his property.

The sacred offerings of each individual remain his own property. When they are given to the priest, they become the priest’s property.

Nazirite

HaShem spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites and say to them:

This is the law when a man or woman makes a nazirite vow to HaShem (nazir is the Modern Hebrew word for monk. A nazirite vow is not like other vows, because it involves special protocol, and ordinarily is for thirty days. Nazir means set apart and made holy.) He must separate himself completely from wine and wine-brandy. He may not even drink vinegar made from wine and wine-brandy. He may not drink any grape beverage, and he must not eat any grapes or raisins. As long as he is a nazirite, he may not eat anything coming from the grape, from its seeds to its skin.

As long as he is under his nazirite oath, no cutting instrument will touch the hair on his head. Until he completes his term as a nazirite to HaShem, the uncut hair that grows on his head is sacred.

As long as he is a nazarite to HaShem, he may not have any contact with the dead. He may not ritually defile himself (make himself impure) even when his father, mother, brother or sister dies, since his HaShem’s nazarite crown is on his head. As long as he is a nazarite, he is holy to HaShem.

If a person dies in his presence suddenly, and renders his crowned head ritually impure, then, when he purifies himself on the seventh day, he must bring two turtle doves or two young common doves to the priest to the Communion Tent entrance. The priest will prepare as a sin offering and one as a burnt offering to atone for his inadvertent defilement by the dead. On that day, he will resanctify his head. He will then begin counting his nazarite days from the beginning to HaShem, and he will bring a yearling sheep as a guilt offering. Since his nazarite crown was defiled, the first days can not be counted.

The following is the law of what the nazarite must do when the term of his nazarite vow is complete and of what he must bring to the Communion Tent entrance:

The offering that he must present will be one unblemished yearling male sheep for a burnt offering, one unblemished yearling female sheep for a sin offering, one unblemished ram for a peace offering, and a basket containing unleavened wheat loaves kneaded with oil and flat matzahs saturated with oil, along with the proper meal offerings and libation.

After the service at the Communion Tent entrance, the nazarite will shave off the crown of hair on his head. He will take the hair from the nazirite crown on his head, and place it on the fire that is under the sacrifice.

After the nazirite has shaved, the priest will take the cooked foreleg of the ram along with one unleavened loaf and one flat matzah, and place them on the nazarite’s open hands. The priest will wave them with the motions prescribed for a wave offering before HaShem. These are sanctified (made holy) to belong to the priest, along with the animal’s chest given as a wave offering, and the hind leg given as an elevated gift.

After all this, the nazarite may drink wine.

This is the entire law concerning the nazarite, who has a vow obligation to bring his nazarite sacrifice to HaShem. This is in addition to anything else that he may wish to present to fulfill his vow, which must be brought above and beyond what the law requires for his nazarite vow.

Blessing the Tribes

HaShem spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to Aaron and his sons, saying:

This is how you must bless the Israelites. Say to them:

“May HaShem bless you and keep watch over you.

“May HaShem make His presence enlighten you and grant you grace.

“May HaShem direct His providence toward you and grant you peace.

The priests will, in this way, link My name with the Israelites and I will bless them.

On the day that Moses finished erecting the Tabernacle, he anointed it and sanctified it along with all its furniture. He also anointed the altar and all its utensils and in this way sanctified them.

Princes of Israel

The princes of Israel, who were the heads of their paternal lines, then came forward. They were the leaders of the tribes and the ones who had directed the census. The offering that they presented to HaShem consisted of six covered wagons and twelve oxen. There was one wagon for each two princes, and one ox for each one. They presented them in front of the Tabernacle.

HaShem said to Moses. “Take the offering from them, and let the wagons and oxen be used for the Communion Tent’s service. Give them to the Levites, as appropriate for each family’s work.”

Moses took the wagons and oxen, and gave them to the Levites. He gave two wagons and four oxen to the descendents of Gersho, as appropriate for their service. To the descendents of Merari, he gave four wagons and eight oxen. Both were under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

He did not give any wagons to the descendents of Kehoth, however, since they had the responsibility for the most sacred articles, which they had to carry on their shoulders.

On the day that it was anointed, the princes presented their dedication offerings for the altar. The leaders placed their offerings before the altar.

HaShem said to Moses, “Let them present their offerings for the altar’s dedication, one prince each day.”

The one to bring his offering on the first day was Nachshon son of Aminadav of the tribe of Judah. His offering was as follows:

One silver bowl weighing 130 shekels, and one silver sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with the best grade wheat meal kneaded with olive oil for a meal offering.

One gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense.

One young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep.

This was the offering of Nachshon son of Aminadav.

On the second day, Nethanel son of Tzuar, prince of Issachar, brought his offering. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of Eliav son of Chelon.

On the fourth day, it was the leader of Reuben’s descendan, Elitzur son of Shedey-ur. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Elitzur son of Shedey-ur.

On the fifth day, it was the leader of Simeon’s descendents, Shelumiel son of Tzuri-shaddai. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of Shelumiel son of Tzuri-shaddai.

On the sixth day it was the leader of Gad’s descendents, Elyassaf son of Deuel. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Elyassaf son of Deuel.

On the seventh day, it was the leader of Ephraim’s descendents, Elishama son of Amihud. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Elishama son of Amihud.

On the eighth day, it was the leader of Menasseh’s descendents, Gamliel son of Padah-tzur. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Gamliel son of Padah-tzur.

On the ninth day, it was the leader of Benjamin’s descendents Avidah son of Gid’oni. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Avidah son of Gid’oni.

On the tenth day, it was the leader of Dan’s Descendents, Achiezer son of Ami-shaddai. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Achiezer son of Ami-shaddai.

On the eleventh day, it was the leader of Asher’s descendents, Pagiel son of Akhran. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Pagiel son of Akhran.

On the twelfth day, it was the leader of Naphtali’s descendents, Achira son of Enyan. His offering was one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one sacrificial basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary standard, both filled with wheat meal kneaded with oil for a meal offering; one gold incense bowl weighing 10 shekels filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one yearling sheep for a burnt offering; one goat for a sin offering; and for the peace sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five yearling sheep. This was the offering of , Achira son of Enyan.

That was the dedication offering for the altar given by the princes of Israel on the day it was anointed.

There were twelve silver bowls, twelve silver sacrificial basins, and twelve gold incense bowls. Since each bowl weighed 130 shekels and each sacrificial basin weighed70, all the silver in the utensils amounted to 2400 sanctuary shekels.

There were twelve gold incense bowls full of incense, each weighing ten sanctuary shekels. Therefore, all the gold in the incense bowls amounted to 120 shekels.

The total of all the animals for burnt offerings was 12 oxen, 12 rams, and 12 yearling sheep, along with their meal offerings. There were also 12 male goats for sin offerings.

The total of all the animals for peace sacrifices was 24 bulls, 60 rams, 60 male goats, and 60 yearling male sheep.

That was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.

When Moses came into the Communion Tent to speak with HaShem, he would hear the Voice speaking to him from between the two cherubs on the ark cover over the Ark of Testimony. HaShem in this way spoke to him.


Next Week’s Parsha : BeHa’alothekha Numbers 8:1 – 12:16
Next Week’s Haftara: Zechariah 2.14-4.7