Parashat Nasso / פרשת נשא

Crop of The Healing of Ten Lepers by James Joseph Jacques Tissot


Parashat Nasso is the 35th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the second reading of Bamidbar (“Numbers”). Nasso (נָשֹׂא) is the sixth Hebrew word of the parashah, which means To Take, the first word of HaShem’s instruction to Moshe (Moses) to take a census of the sons of Gershon, the son of Levi, who are thirty to fifty years of age, all who are of the age to serve at Ohel Moed (the Tent of Meeting).

HaShem instructs Moshe regarding the service of the Gershuni (the sons of Gershon) in relation to Ohel Moed, together with Aharon (Aaron) and his sons. The parashah continues with HaShem’s instructions to Moshe to take a census of bnei Merari (sons of Merari) and their service in relations to Ohel Moed. Moshe and Aharon then take a census of bnei Kehati (the sons of Kohath), and the Torah records the census figures pertaining to the above mentioned Levi’im (Levites).

Parashat Nasso continues with HaShem’s instruction to Moshe to remove the people who are tamei (ritually unclean) from the camp, so that they do not defile the camp in the midst of which HaShem dwells. The parashah then includes instructions for the one who has broken faith with HaShem, when the person realizes their guilt. HaShem then instructs Moshe in what is to be done when a woman is suspected of breaking faith with her husband, when there are no witnesses.

Bamidbar 6 discusses the rules pertaining to one who would consecrate themselves to HaShem for a period of time by taking upon them Neder Nazir (a Nazarite Vow), how they are to conduct themselves while under the vow and how they are to bring the vow to completion. The chapter concludes with the Birkat Kohanim (the Priestly Blessing), with which Aharon and his sons are instructed to bless bnei Yisrael (the Children/People of Yisrael).

Parashat Nasso concludes with a record of the events of the day when Moshe finished setting up the Mishkan (Tabernacle), anointing and consecrating it, together with its furnishings, the altar and its utensils. This record includes the gift of Nessiei Yisrael (the Princes of Israel), the heads of their father’s houses, which is given to HaShem for the service of the Levi’im relating to Ohel Moed, as well as their offerings which are offered for the dedication of the Mizbeakh (Altar) over twelve days. When these offerings are completed, Moshe enters Ohel Moed and something amazing happens.

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Torah Portion: Numbers 4:21 – 7:89

1st Aliyah: Numbers 4:21-37 (17 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Numbers 4:38-49 (12 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Numbers 5:1-10 (10 verses)
4th Aliyah: Numbers 5:11-6:27 (48 verses)
5th Aliyah: Numbers 7:1-41 (41 verses)
6th Aliyah: Numbers 7:42-71 (30 verses)
7th Aliyah: Numbers 7:72-89 (18 verses)
Maftir: Numbers 7:87-89 (3 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Judges 13:2 – 13:25

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Artwork: Crop of “The Healing of Ten Lepers” by James Joseph Jacques Tissot

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