Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Naso 5775

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Naso 5775

This Shabbat we read from Parashat Naso, the longest single Torah portion in the entire Five Books of Moses. What gives this Torah portion its great length is the description of the sacrifice offered by one representative of each of the twelve tribes at the twelve-day-long celebration when Moshe completed the work of erecting the Tabernacle. While a detailed description of the sacrifice from each tribe would be easily understood if each tribe offered a unique sacrifice, what is surprising is that each representative offers exactly the same sacrifice. Why then does the Torah need to repeat itself twelve times and make this Torah portion into the longest in the Torah? The answer given by the commentators is that its purpose is to show equality amongst the tribes. Had the sacrifices been different there would have been debate over whose was better, which God preferred and before long we might have been in another Cain and Able situation. As it stands this way, we know without question that no sacrifice was better than the other and each tribe had equal right when it came to its members bringing their sacrifices to God at the Tabernacle.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Hillel Skolnik

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