Shabbat Nasso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and

Welcome to Parashat Naso! Come right in and watch your step. On the right side of the Torah you’ll notice the longest single parshat. That’s right folks, 176 verses of wilderness fun!

Moving ahead to our first stop, there is the ever popular census taking. This time the Levite tribes are counted, divvied up, and counted again!

Now did everyone remember to wash their hands? It’s important because anyone who is unclean, according to this parsha, needs to be removed from the camp and we have a strict policy of keeping the group together through our tour.

We also ask that you leave all alcoholic products at the gate, because our next law always gets confusing: making restitution of the value of damage plus a fifth. That’s a little Torah humor, folks.

Continuing along, on the right you can see the test for a woman accused of adultery. THAT’S no cocktail she’s drinking, I can promise you that!

In fact, at our next stop on the tour there’s no drinking AT ALL! That’s right, here you can see the world-famous hirsute Nazarites! Nobody is really sure WHY they take their vows, but they’ve chosen to give up wine, cutting their hair, and coming into contact with dead bodies. OK, so maybe that last vow was a gimme.

If you’ve made it this far through our tour then you deserve what comes next – the 3 fold Priestly blessing.

And this is where we wrap it up, folks – no pun intended – although there are LOTS of verses to go. The rest of the portion describes the valuable gifts given to Moshe by the heads of the 12 tribes.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something which has a relationship to the Nazarite vows. For or against, pro or con, like Torah itself the rest is for you to interpret.

Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.