28 May 2015
This week’s parasha is Naso, which contains three of the most famous verses in the Torah, known as the Priestly Benediction:
May God bless you and keep you;
May God shine upon you and show compassion to you;
May God lift the Divine Countenance and give peace to you.
This simple, yet elegant blessing builds from three to five to seven Hebrew words, each line adding meaning to the previous one. Many commentators have written about these verses, with interesting interpretations. Nehama Leibowitz suggests that the first verse refers to material goods, the second spiritual and the third, a combination of the two.
The message: material possessions are best appreciated – and utilized – in the context of spiritual well-being. Instead of entitlements, Judaism begins with blessings. Instead of rights, it begins with responsibilities. Realizing this, we are urged to recognize the source of our blessings and use our material well-being to carry out our responsibilities.
Ways to Make it Yours
We want to hear from you! Share your innovative Israel engagement program ideas with us and be entered in a raffle to win $500!
Volunteer with young professionals at KEEN to help kids with disabilities have a fun-filled, memorable day of outdoor recreation on Sunday, June 7!
Celebrate Israel’s 67th birthday with community-wide festivals in MD and NoVA on Sunday, May 31.