Weekly Words of Torah: Parashat Naso

To inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women

By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields
WLCJ Executive Director

The latter part of this week’s Torah reading, Parashat Naso, the Torah describes at great length the offerings of the Nesi’im (Princes) on the day that the Mishkan, Tabernacle was sanctified. What is unusual about this section is that every Nasi, prince, offered exactly the same offerings, yet the Torah describes each one separately in virtually identical verses. We know that there are no extra words in the Torah, therefore, why was it necessary to enumerate the same information twelve times; why could the Torah not simply mention the offerings the first time and then simply say that all the other Nesi’im brought the exact same offerings?! Of course, this repetition comes to teach us an important lesson, because, otherwise, the Torah would not repeat the same offering so many times. We all know, even those of us, like myself, who rarely cook, that two people may make the same recipe, or even the same person may make the same recipe, but it comes out tasting differently, and being different. We may give the same instructions and supplies to multiple children to do the same art project, and the project results in a different finished product.

Furthermore, no two people lead the same way. We need people who bring different perspectives, and skill sets, and unique ideas and backgrounds. Yes, the Princes may have brought the same offerings, but were the princes and the offerings truly the same? I do not believe so. No two animals were truly exactly alike, like no two people are exactly alike. We all bring our own skill sets, backgrounds, and unique perspectives. And that is why our Sisterhoods, and Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, need each and every one of you!

WWOT, Weekly Words of Torah will be a brief paragraph prepared weekly by our new Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, presented in our “This Week @ Women’s League.” WWOT will provide meaningful thoughts related to the Weekly Torah Portion, an event on the Calendar, a Prayer, or something of Jewish interest, to inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women. If you have any particular interest in future topics, or want to send Rabbi Wolintz-Fields an email, you can contact her at ewolintz-fields@wlcj.org. Read previous Weekly Words of Torah here.