Parshas Nasso

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Parshas Nasso


The Torah tells us in this week’s Torah portion about the unbelievable sacrifices brought by the leaders of the Jewish tribes during the dedication of the tabernacle. Before anyone brought anything to the tabernacle, the leaders of the tribes quickly took the opportunity to bring special sacrifices. It was such an amazing act, that the Torah spends an awfully long time describing every detail of each and every sacrifice of each and every leader. All of this, despite the fact that each of the sacrifices ended up exactly the same. Such an amazing act deserves its own separate set of passages, instead of a brief summation of the entirety.

Rashi is curious to know what brought the leaders of the tribes to bring such a charitable contribution to the dedication of the tabernacle before anyone else. Rashi explains that when all of the Jewish people brought the materials for the building of the tabernacle, the leaders of the tribes were left out. They made a joint decision to let the Jewish people bring whatever it is they were to bring, and they’ll finish off the rest. Sounds like a good plan! However, it so happened that the Jewish people were so eager to build the tabernacle and receive the highest connection possible with the Almighty, that within 72 hours there was nothing left to bring. There in fact so was so much donated, Moshe had to stop the Jewish people from brining anymore. Due to this occurrence, the leaders of the tribes said this time we’re not making the same mistake, and joyfully gave first, before anyone else.

Although the leaders of the tribes rectified what happened originally, Rashi points out in Parshas Vayakhel that they lost a letter from their name (the letter yud). This is to indicate, as Rashi says, a point of laziness on their part. The Torah hints to us that by sitting back and waiting for everyone else, one is deemed lazy.

When you think about it, there is a question begging to be asked. How could what the leaders of the tribes did be called lazy? The leaders were doing something remarkable. They had the ability to give everything for the tabernacle and leave everyone else out. Yet, they gave the rest of the Jewish people the opportunity to join in on such a tremendous mitzvah. Such an act of kindness seems commendable. Where is the laziness that the Torah hints to?

What the Torah is teaching us is a tremendous lesson in life. Many times we have an inspiration to do something, but think of ways to wiggle out of it. Sometimes it’s an inspiration to learn more, to give more, or to act in a more proper fashion. Everyone is inspired at one point or another. But, there’s always a way out. Not only do we find a way to silence the inspiration, but many times we do it in a way as if we’re doing the more commendable act. The leaders of the tribes thought letting the Jewish people give to the dedication of the tabernacle first was a great form of giving on their part. Only when there was nothing left to give did they realize the error of their way. They came to the conclusion at that point when there’s an inspiration for service to the Almighty, you must jump on it immediately without question. DON’T WAIT!

Due to the unbelievable level of the leaders of the tribes, they were able to realize their error and rectify the issue. Not always is it so easy. To realize what’s right in every situation usually takes an outsiders opinion, preferably a Torah scholar. However, when that inspiration comes, grab hold right away and don’t look back. One thing is for sure, you won’t be coined lazy.




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