Naso – נָשֹׂא (Numbers 4:21−7:89)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Naso – נָשֹׂא (Numbers 4:21−7:89)
Naso, is the longest Torah portion in the Torah and the wordiness of all these words is due in large measure to a lengthy listing of gifts brought by the leaders of each tribe in honor of the dedication of God’s holy tabernacle, the great tent of meeting which the Children of Israel carried with them, throughout their wanderings, on their journey to the Promised Land. This listing of names and gifts alone occupies an 76 verses of the portion.
Taking a census is, by definition, a repetitive and tedious undertaking and this is not the first time the Torah has recounted such a listing in intricate detail. What is remarkable about this particular listing of names and gifts, is that each representative of every tribe brought the exact same collection of gifts. So, instead of repeating that same list of gifts 12 times over, why couldn’t the Torah have simply said: “And the leaders of every tribe brought these same gifts to the Tabernacle”?
Because even though the gifts were all the same, the givers were not.
By listing all these gifts separately, and including the name each giver, the Torah is teaching us the holiness of every human being and the uniqueness of each of our gifts.