Nasso - May 22, 2021

Torah Portion:
Nasso - May 22, 2021

Torah: Numbers 4:21-7:89
Haftarah: Judges 13:2-25
Portion Summary:
—The Levite families of Gershon and Merar are given the responsibilities of disassembly and transport of the other elements of the Tabernacle.
—Separation of the ritually unclean from the community is established.
—Penalty for wrongs against others is given.
—A ritual for jealousy in unproven adultery is instituted.
—The rituals of the Nazirite are detailed.
—The Aaronic benediction is recited.
—The setup of the Tabernacle and the offerings given by tribe are detailed.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Marital Trust
“…Suppose some man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him…but it is hidden from her husband’s eyes…. Then he should take his wife to the kohen….” Numbers 5:12, 13, 15 (TLV)

A ritual to establish guilt or innocence of a wife suspected of adultery without proof seems a strange passage in Torah. As a woman, I was a bit put off by the idea that a man would be allowed to exorcize his demons by taking her to the kohen who would give her a dirt drink and then make a vow. I felt that if the woman emerged from the tent intact, he should be ready to shower her with gifts to make up for it!

There may be more involved here. Certainly, jealousy is an extremely negative emotion that takes large amounts of emotional energy and time from better pursuits. There is also the element of trust (a basic for marriage) that needs to be addressed.

Married couples not only have to trust each other for their material possessions but with weightier concerns such as their children, personal weaknesses, intimacy (emotional and physical) with one another, etc. When this trust is violated, the effect is devastating.  

I met a recently divorced man a while back who told me that the final straw for the dissolution of his 20-year marriage was that he had gone to a third person, a man, and told him all about his problems in the marriage. This third party had gone back to the wife and told her about the conversation. Evidently, it had been the husband’s pattern of behavior throughout the marriage not to come to her with his concerns, but to go to others. It turned out that his repeated behavior so eroded the trust in their marriage that his wife saw no other way out, so she left him. This is the nature of jealousy and betrayal. It eats away at the fabric of oneness that the couple sets about to achieve.

Do you trust your spouse to come to you with their needs, desires, and misgivings? Can your spouse trust you not to go to others for any of the things that are rightfully your spouse’s alone?

I pray for Your assistance in remembering the sacred trust that I have with my spouse, and that my spouse would also remember this trust. Bless our marriage with a stronger bond, and make us more as one in You, and as You are one with your believers.
In Your great name I pray, amen.
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