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Shabbat Morning Service

Saturday, June 15


Parashat Naso 5784 /נשא  

Numbers 4:21-7:89


This Torah portion is a mélange of legal and liturgical elements.  The preceding parashah’s census, clan by clan, of Levites and their duties in service of the kohanim/priests continues and is finalized.  God then charges Moshe to remove from the Israelite encampment all who have become impure through contraction of disease or contact with the dead.  A framework allowing wrongdoers to confess and pay for their crimes is set in place as are rules about donations earmarked for priests.  A husband who, without proof, suspects his wife of adultery may bring his accusation to a priest, who subjects her to an arcane ritual ordeal that involves physically humiliating her and forcing her to drink a bitter earth-water mixture.  If her womb reacts by becoming misshapen and infertile, she’s guilty; if she incurs no physical harm and bears children, she’s innocent.  The husband pays no penalty if he has accused his wife falsely.  (Hmm…?)  Next come the ritual framework and protocol for a nazir/nazirite, one who voluntarily assumes an extra measure of devotion to God by refraining, for a designated period of time, from grape-based food or drink, growing his or her hair long, and staying away from the dead.   The Priestly Blessing (still recited during synagogue services and in the home ritual) follows.  Upon completion of the holy Tabernacle, tribal chieftains, one by one, present sacrifices and gifts in a lavish, elaborate and repetitive ceremony lasting twelve days.  As the ceremony concludes, Moshe enters the Tent of Meeting, where God speaks to him from above the Ark of the


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Torah Blessings

Rabbi Seth has prepared the attached recording for those who wish to practice the Torah blessings ahead of being called up for an aliyah at our services.  The recording includes both versions - Reconstructionist and traditional - of those blessings and explains the ritual "choreography" that goes with their recitation.  Please   CLICK to contact Rabbi Seth   if you have questions or need help in learning how to do this mitzvah.  

Torah BlessingsRabbi Seth
00:00 / 03:49
Click the box above to read the Torah blessings while listening to the audio.
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