Torah Tidbits

Depth, Discernment and Ethics

Shabbat Parashat Naso

May 30, 2015 – 12 Sivan 5775 featured-rabbi

Dear Friends,

We have been blessed with a Torah which our Sages likened to a “tree of life.”

We have been taught that mitzvoth were given to us to help us strengthen the foundations of our soul and of our relationships.

We have been encouraged, by the ethical teachings of Torah, to strive to be a source of blessing in the world.

We have been inspired to stand apart from evil;  to do what is right; to embrace eternal truths and to represent eternal values in a world that is constantly inventing new idols to worship.

Thankfully, though the Torah is eternal, it is not simplistic!

So, for instance, we know that it is a mitzvah for us to treat God’s name as sacred, as it represents all that is good and all that is holy in our world.  And so, normally, we do not blot out God’s name once it has been inscribed on parchment or on paper.  At the same time, we know that it is a mitzvah to restore a married couple’s good relationship if it has been compromised.

In this week’s Torah portion, the Torah teaches us to shift our focus from the sacredness of  God’s name to the distress of the couple, in the face of the challenge of restoring a sense of peace to the nuclear family.   The Torah concretizes this shift of focus by commanding us to physically blot out the name of God in the special waters, encouraging us to do all that is within our power as a community to restore the mutual trust between the husband and wife.

Thankfully, the Torah teaches us to study real life situations in depth and with discernment so that we may strive to bring blessing and peace even to the most complex, physical, emotional and spiritual dilemmas of our lives.

If the Torah is truly like a tree of life, we should not be surprised that in addition to Torah’s eternal nature, Torah is also flexible, beautiful and firmly rooted in reality.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror