As any bar mitzvah boy knows, Parshas Naso is the longest parshah in the Torah. However, it is not so difficult to lain, as a large part of the parshah is basically repetition of the various gifts offered by the נשיאים in honor of the dedication of the Mishkon. The Torah tells us the exact offering of every single נשיא even though each נשיא brought exactly the same offering! We teach our children from a very young age that there is no unnecessary repetition in the Torah. Even a seeming redundancy must have meaning – and this repetition is no exception.
The Medrash relates that the nosi from Yehudah was the first to bring his offering. However, the second nosi, Nesanel ben Tzuor of שבט יששכר, was faced with a dilemma: What was he going to bring?
The Medrash says that Nesanel ben Tzuor realized that if he tried to be different from Nachshon ben Aminodov of שבט יהודה then the nosi after him and each following nosi, would face a dilemma of continuously bringing newer, better, and bigger offerings! Everyone would argue that his offering was better and this would lead to hatred and jealousy. Therefore, Nesanel ben Tzuor decided to bring exactly the same offering as Nachshon ben Aminodov.
The recent tragedies during y’mei sefiroh seem to be reminders to us of this lesson. The Medrash is teaching us the importance of unity, peace, and harmony. This week’s parshah also contains Bircas Cohanim, in which the last brochoh is the brochoh of sholom, thereby underscoring the dominant role that sholom plays. In our school, in our families, and with our children, we should always seek to minimize jealousy and one-upmanship so that sholom will prevail.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School