Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Nasso - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the second Parasha in the Book of Numbers. It is the longest reading as it contains a description of the gifts that each leader of the tribe brought at the dedication of the Tabernacle. Although each gift was exactly the same for each tribe, it is repeated twelve times. It indicates that although they all brought the same gift, each one was accepted as being unique and meaningful to G-d and to that tribe.

The Torah reading begins with the words, "Naso et b'nei Gershon..." - "Take a census of the Gerhsonites family...". This is the last of the censuses which was the main topic in last week's Parasha. It is interesting to note the Hebrew verb used for 'count' - Naso, which also means 'raise, lift up". The message is clear: When a person is counted, he/she is raised to an important position. That person can now be counted upon. He/she is not just a number, but an important individual whom the community needs and who can be counted upon.

As we all know, we are a small number as compared to the rest of the population. Each one of us is very important. Sharei Chesed is a small congregation. We need each and everyone to make it a viable community. This is the Shabbat before Shavuot, when we celebrate the Giving of the Torah. This Wednesday, we will be reading the Ten Commandments and Thursday we will be reciting Yizkor. Can we count on you to come and hear those words again? Make it a point this year - because you count.

Naso - raise up!

Shabbat Shalom,