Naso |נשא

A Better Way to Pay Restitution: Naso 5781

Many years ago my car was stolen from its spot outside our apartment in Michigan. In the middle of the night a police officer woke us up and informed me that someone had been pulled over while driving it with a smashed window down Northwestern Highway—had I by chance lent it to them? I had…

Separation from Cain: Naso 5780

“When a man or a woman commits any wrong toward a fellow person, thus breaking faith with the Lord, and that person realizes their guilt, they shall confess the wrong that they have done. They shall make restitution in the principal amount and add one-fifth to it, giving it to the one who was wronged.”…

The Problem with Priests: Naso 5777

[Written for JTS Torah Commentary]      Modern Judaism has a problem with the priesthood. The notion of hereditary holiness—that one segment of the Jewish people is set apart from others, given ceremonial privileges, and invited to bless the people—conflicts with our egalitarian ethos. The strange rituals of the priests, especially when they are invited…