Below is a collection of Parashat Naso resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
)miDISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Question #1: Naso is the longest parasha in the Torah. One reason is the repetition of the gifts of the princes to the mishkan (Tabernacle). Although each gift is the same, the details are repeated for each one of the twelve princes. The Torah, in general, is often so careful with its use of words. Why repeat the exact gift twelve times instead of just writing that all the princes each gave this gift one after another? Is there a message here?
Look inside the text (Bemidbar 7:12-19):
יְהִי הַמַּקְרִיב בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן אֶת קָרְבָּנוֹ נַחְשׁוֹן בֶּן עַמִּינָדָב לְמַטֵּה יְהוּדָה: וְקָרְבָּנוֹ קַעֲרַת כֶּסֶף אַחַת שְׁלשִׁים וּמֵאָה מִשְׁקָלָהּ מִזְרָק אֶחָד כֶּסֶף שִׁבְעִים שֶׁקֶל בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ שְׁנֵיהֶם מְלֵאִים סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשֶּׁמֶן לְמִנְחָה:
כַּף אַחַת עֲשָׂרָה זָהָב מְלֵאָה קְטֹרֶת: פַּר אֶחָד בֶּן בָּקָר אַיִל אֶחָד כֶּבֶשׂ אֶחָד בֶּן שְׁנָתוֹ לְעֹלָה: שְׂעִיר עִזִּים אֶחָד לְחַטָּאת: וּלְזֶבַח הַשְּׁלָמִים בָּקָר שְׁנַיִם אֵילִם חֲמִשָּׁה עַתּוּדִים חֲמִשָּׁה כְּבָשִׂים בְּנֵי שָׁנָה חֲמִשָּׁה זֶה קָרְבַּן נַחְשׁוֹן בֶּ עַמִּינָדָב: בַּיּוֹם הַשֵּׁנִי הִקְרִיב נְתַנְאֵל בֶּן צוּעָר נְשִׂיא יִשָּׂשׂכָר: הִקְרִב אֶת קָרְבָּנוֹ קַעֲרַת כֶּסֶף אַחַת שְׁלשִׁים וּמֵאָה מִשְׁקָלָהּ מִזְרָק אֶחָד כֶּסֶף שִׁבְעִים שֶׁקֶל בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ
The one who presented his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab of the tribe of Judah. His offering: one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one silver basin of 70 shekels by the sanctuary weight, both filled with choice flour with oil mixed in, for a meal offering; one gold ladle of 10 shekels, filled with incense; one bull of the herd, one ram, and one lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; and for his sacrifice of well-being: two oxen, five rams, five he-goats, and five yearling lambs. That was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab. On the second day, Nethanel son of Zuar, chieftain of Issachar, made his offering. He presented as his offering: one silver bowl weighing 130 shekels and one silver basin of 70 shekels by the sanctuary weight…
Question #2: Parashat Naso includes the very meaningful blessing of the kohanim (priests) which is still recited today in synagogues today. It’s difficult to understand what it means that “God will shine His light on you.” What do you think it means? Can a person also “shine light” on others? How? What does it feel like?
Look inside the text (Bemidbar 6:24-26):
יְבָרֶכְךָ ה’ וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ – May God bless you and protect you
יָאֵר ה’ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ – May God deal kindly and graciously with you
יִשָּׂא ה’ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם – May God bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace
Question #3: The heads of the tribes brought two different offerings to celebrate the inauguration of the mishkan (Tabernacle) – one was a group offering, the other individual. Which is a more profound experience, being a soloist or being part of an orchestra working together? When it is important to be part of a group and when is it more important to be an individual? How do we establish a balance in our lives between working as part of the community and taking care of our own needs?
Question #4: In his search for spiritual elevation, the nazir effectively distances himself from much of public life. His hair grows uncut, he cannot participate in many celebrations (involving wine or alcohol), and he must protect himself from impurity. How do we balance our need for personal space, growth, individuality, and spiritual searching with our responsibility to be part of a community? As parents, or children, how do we balance the responsibilities we have to ourselves, our families, and our communities? Which of those takes precedence and how do we decide?