The weekly Parsha – Parshas Naso

Shabbat adds an element of completion to the days of the previous week. Therefore, this Shabbat is the completion of the holiday of Shavuot, the holiday which celebrates the giving of our holy Torah.

We also see a connection between this week ‘s Torah portion, Naso, and the holiday of Shavuot. The word “Naso” means “to lift up,” and the Torah portion begins with the commandment to “lift up the heads.” The Rebbe explains that this alludes to the ability of Torah study to elevate our intellectual faculties, and also that the act of fulfilling the mitzvot can be further elevated through Torah study.

How should we approach our Torah study?

The Torah, itself, states, “On this day, the children of Israel came to Mount Sinai.” It should have said “on that day.” But using the phrase “on this day” teaches us that we regard the Torah as if it were just given to us “on this day,” that we should learn Torah with joy and enthusiasm, as if we have just received it.

The giving of the Torah is also connected to this week’s chapter of Pirkei Avot, which begins, “Moses received the Torah from Sinai and conveyed it…” This verse teaches us how the Torah was first brought down to this world and continues to be passed from one generation to the next.

The chapter then goes on to state how the Torah continually influences the world at large, with the verse, “The world stands on three things, on Torah, on Divine Service, and on deeds of kindness.” The ultimate purpose of the world is to make it a dwelling place for G-d. It is through these three things – Torah study, serving G-d, and acts of kindness – that this will occur.

We hope and pray that we will soon be blessed with the coming of Moshiach, who will lead us into a world that is truly a dwelling place for G-d.