Friday, May 21, 2010

Parshas Naso and the Shabbos After Shavuos

This week's Parsha speaks about the korbanos of the nesi'im. The torah lists every nasi and what korban he gave even though they each gave the exact same korban. We know that the torah is very careful with each letter and there is nothing extra there so why does the repitition? Why doesn't it just list the animals of the korbanos once and mention that all the nesi'im gave the same thing?

We can take a few lessons from the fact that the torah repeats the karbanos of each Nasi. Firstly, we see that Hashem values each person as an individual and that every person is special. Even though they were all the same, the torah specifies what each nasi gave to show us how important they were to Hashem. And we can take this lesson for ourselves as well. Each and every one of you is special and has value! Although you may look at other people around you and think that you are very much the same, remember that to Hashem, you are unique, you are an individual, you are special and you are valued!

Here is another beautiful message (quoted in R' Frand on the Parsha)

When the second nasi, Nesanel ben Tsuar, had to bring his korban, he decided to bring the exact same one as the nasi before him, Nachshon ben Aminadav. Nesanel wanted to avoid the conflict that would undoubtedly arise if he one-upped Nachson’s korban and brought more. In order to avoid any jealousy, resentment or competition he brought exactly the same korban. That idea must have appealed to Hashem because the Torah lists each korban of every shevet even though they were identical. Hashem showed his pleasure as well by allowing the korban yachid of the Nesi'im even on Shabbos, when only a korban tzibur is allowed. Why? Because these karbanos promoted a sense of community and harmony, so Hashem considered them to be just like a korban tzibbur. They had the public interest in mind.

We live in a world where people have a lot and sometimes feel the need to show off what they have. We should take a lesson from this and try to be modest int the way we present ourselves to others and try not to arouse jealousy and bad feelings of others through the good that we have. If Hashem blessed you with plenty, try to use it to serve Him better, give tzeddaka and help other people! If you make a fancy party or celebration, others feel that they must match or outdo your party. It is not fair to them to do that - it makes other people jealous and causes lots of unneeded stress. Instead, use the extra time, energy and money for other things-to help people who are not as fortunate as you and who could use the extra cash.

If you are able to go shopping and you have the money to buy yourself nice things, you don't have to show it off and make other people jealous. I have a secret for are not the only one who likes nice things! Everybody does! So when you buy a fancy new bag or get a new phone, it's okay to show your friends but make sure you are not boasting in a way that makes other people look at you enviously and want what you have. It can cause so much pain to other people who are not able to pay for such luxuries.

The reason for modesty in Judaism is not only to protect ourselves, it is to protect others. We determine what a Torah lifestyle and standard of living is and if we raise that standard, we’re inadvertently tempting others to follow suit whether or not they can afford to.

So let's take the lesson and keep our ostentatious behavior to a minimum and our Ahavas Yisrael to a maximum.

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We are now at the shabbos after Shavuos. You can make this shabbos extra special by taking the lessons and messages from Shavuos into Shabbos and stay on that high. There is so much we can learn from our precious gift, the Torah. When you are able to take a lesson from the torah and apply it to your everyday life, you see and feel that the torah is eternal and that although it was written so many years ago, you can relate to it at all times. In every generation and at any given moment, you can learn something practical from the torah. This should help you appreciate how lucky you are to have such a special present and love it more and more-because we can live with it every single day!

Hope you are able to make this Shabbos extra special by thinking about how lucky you are to be part of such a wonderful nation and how fortunate you are to be given such a precious gift-the torah, whose lessons can be applied to any situation, at any time!

1 comment:

You made it to the end of this post! What do you think about it?