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Naso

Naso

5 Facts About Parshat Naso that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday May 25th, 2018

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.

מִבֶּן֩ שְׁלֹשִׁ֨ים שָׁנָ֜ה וָמַ֗עְלָה עַ֛ד בֶּן־חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה תִּפְקֹ֣ד אוֹתָ֑ם כָּל־הַבָּא֙ לִצְבֹ֣א צָבָ֔א לַעֲבֹ֥ד עֲבֹדָ֖ה בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד׃ (4:23)

Record them from the age of thirty years up to the age of fifty, all who are subject to service in the performance of tasks for the Tent of Meeting.

1.     Who was responsible for the singing and music accompanying the communal offering?

  • The sons of Gershon were responsible for the singing and music that accompanied the communal offerings. This was considered an equal  part of the avodah. (Bamidbar Rabbah 6:5, Arachin 11a)

 

דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם אִ֥ישׁ אִישׁ֙ כִּֽי־תִשְׂטֶ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וּמָעֲלָ֥ה ב֖וֹ מָֽעַל׃ (5:12)

Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: If any man’s wife has gone astray and broken faith with him

2.     When did the Sotah procedure cease?

  • In the days of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai, shortly before the destruction of the Second Temple, they ceased administering the Sotah-drinking procedure. This is because as a prerequisite for it to work, it required that  the husband had also been faithful to his wife, and unfortunately,  so many husbands were not.. (Sota 47a-b)

דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם אִ֥ישׁ אִישׁ֙ כִּֽי־תִשְׂטֶ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וּמָעֲלָ֥ה ב֖וֹ מָֽעַל׃ (5:12)

Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: If any man’s wife has gone astray and broken faith with him

3.     What special gift did Queen Hileini make to the Temple?

  • Queen Hileini made a golden tablet with the section of the Sota engraved on it so that they wouldn’t need to bring a Sefer Torah every time they needed to write a Sotah parchment.  (Bartenura: Mishna Yoma 3:10)

 

וְשָׁכַ֨ב אִ֣ישׁ אֹתָהּ֮ שִׁכְבַת־זֶרַע֒ וְנֶעְלַם֙ מֵעֵינֵ֣י אִישָׁ֔הּ וְנִסְתְּרָ֖ה וְהִ֣יא נִטְמָ֑אָה וְעֵד֙ אֵ֣ין בָּ֔הּ וְהִ֖וא לֹ֥א נִתְפָּֽשָׂה׃ (5:13)

In that a man has had carnal relations with her unbeknown to her husband, and she keeps secret the fact that she has defiled herself without being forced, and there is no witness against her.

4.     How many witnesses were needed to condemn a Sotah?

  • “...but there was no witness..”. The singular form teaches us that in contrast to most other situations where 2 witnesses are required for  testimony, in the case of the Sotah, one witness suffices. This is because one witness, combined with the fact that she secluded herself, is enough grounds to warrant a divorce. (Rashi)

 

וְלָקַ֧ח הַכֹּהֵ֛ן מַ֥יִם קְדֹשִׁ֖ים בִּכְלִי־חָ֑רֶשׂ וּמִן־הֶֽעָפָ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִהְיֶה֙ בְּקַרְקַ֣ע הַמִּשְׁכָּ֔ן יִקַּ֥ח הַכֹּהֵ֖ן וְנָתַ֥ן אֶל־הַמָּֽיִם׃ (5:17)

The priest shall take sacral water in an earthen vessel and, taking some of the earth that is on the floor of the Tabernacle, the priest shall put it into the water.

5.     Where did they find the earth needed for the Sotah procedure?

  • Part of the Sotah procedure required taking some earth which was easily obtainable  while the Jews were  in the desert. However, once they settled in the Beit Hamikdash which had marble floor, a special removable tile/stone was installed so that they could access some earth as needed. (Sotah 15b)
Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box

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