Erev Shabbos Kodesh Naso Inspiration 5776


In this week’s parasha the Torah discusses the Sota, the adulteress woman, followed by the laws of a Nazir, one who takes a vow to abstain from wine and any grape derivatives. The Gemara (Sota 2a) states that the reason for this juxtaposition is because one who sees a Sota in her state of debasement should abstain from wine, as wine causes all sorts of problems, including promiscuity. The Torah then proceeds to relate the instruction to Aharon to bless the Jewish People. What is the association between this blessing and the previous passages?

The concluding blessing of the Priestly Blessing is (Bamidbar 6:26) יִשָּׂא יְהֹוָה פָּנֵי אלקיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם, may HaShem lift His countenanced to you and establish peace for you. The previous blessings are easily understood, as the Kohanim request that HaShem bless us, safeguard us, and illuminate His countenance for us. What, however, is the meaning of the blessing for peace? If human beings do not get along, does HaShem, so to speak, “come in and break up the fight?” How are we to understand this blessing, which is echoed in the last blessing of the Shemone Esrei prayer?

In order to understand this blessing of peace, we must examine the downfall of the adulteress woman. The Torah presents the scenario of a man who warns his wife against engaging in conversation and secluding herself with another man. A woman who cannot control her passions and continues down the path of immorality will face destruction. The Arizal teaches us that man’s essential judgment in the future is regarding his relationship with his wife. When we talk about peace, we are wont to think of global peace or peace in our cities and in our neighborhoods. The Torah, however, has a different perspective, which is peace in the home. A Sota is the antithesis of peace, and the Medrash (Vayikra Rabbah 9:9) states that peace is so paramount that HaShem declares, “I prefer that My Holy Name is erased in the bitter waters (that the Sota drinks) in order to promote peace between man and wife.”

We can now better understand the connection of the Priestly Blessing that ends with HaShem establishing peace and the parasha of Sota and Nazir. We must understand that if we work hard on the home front to promote peace, we can be assured that HaShem will establish peace in our homes, which is the only true catalyst for world peace.

May HaShem grant us “peace in our time,” with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu and the Rebuilding of the “city of Peace,” Yerushalayim, speedily, in our days.

Have a PEACEFUL Shabbos!

Rabbi Adler

Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Naso 5776
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