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Weekly Parsha

Parshat Naso

Parsha Naso is always read on the Shabbat adjacent to Shavuot (either after or before), indicating that the predominating theme of Naso is strongly connected with the giving of the Torah, celebrated on Shavuot.



The Torah was, in fact, studied long before it was actually “given” in the year 2448.  Our Sages revealed that the Patriarchs were fluent in Torah, and even prior to that, Shem, Noach’s son, headed a Torah Academy.



Nevertheless, the giving of the Torah was not merely a formality whereby the Torah was “officially” presented to the Jewish people.  Rather, at Sinai, a significant change took place in the compatibility of spirituality with this physical world.  As the Midrash relates, until the giving of the Torah, G-d had decreed that spirituality (the “upper worlds”) and physicality (the “lower worlds”) could have no lasting union, and when the Torah was given, “the decree was annulled”.



Consequently, when we study the Torah now, after the giving of the Torah, we do not merely become educated and knowledgeable, but more importantly, our physical being becomes infused, strengthened and uplifted by the spirituality of the Torah.



To stress this point, the Parsha which we read around the time of Shavuot is called Naso, which literally means “lift,” indicating how Torah actually elevates our physical existence to a higher plane.



From this, we can learn that the Torah was not intended to be limited to the realm of the academic or even the spiritual.  Torah should affect us deeply, to the extent that even our ordinary, everyday activities become uplifted as a result of our exposure to Torah, fulfilling the Divine intent that the “upper worlds” and “lower worlds” should be in harmony with one another.