Midreshet Amit


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Confront, Reflect and Improve

By: Talia David

In this weeks Parsha, Nasso, the laws and rules of a Nazir are explained. The Nazir can’t cut his hair, drink wine, or become impure.


‎“כל ימי נזרו קדש הוא לה׳” (Bamidbar 6:8)

“Throughout his term as a nazir he is consecrated to the lord”


According to the peshat, this seems to mean by removing himself from physicality, the nazir is serving god in a more dedicated and spiritual way.  However, after the nazir completes his term, he must bring a sin offering. Why should a nazir who just completed a period of serving hashem so highly bring an offering for sin?


The nazir IS holy, however, he is unable to appreciate physical gifts god gave to us.

He avoids anything that poses spiritual danger to a person: festivity, tragedy, and social pressure.  He cannot drink wine, which prevents him from celebrating. Become impure, preventing him from attending funerals. Or cut his hair, making him disheveled and an outcast.

Abstaining from wine prevents the nazir from over indulging, but also prevents the nazir from mitzvot like kidush and havdala. Even alcohol is something that can be elevated from its material status and become a tool to serving God.  The nazir also can’t be social or form good friendships because of his appearance. He also can’t mourn loss with the rest of the community. Or have relations with a women. This is why he must bring a sin offering even thought he was dedicated to God while he was a nazir.

The Nazir’s principle is to protect himself from danger, rather than confront it. Avoiding temptations does not resolve your desire for the impure. The only proper way to combat a bad habit is through confrontation. While avoiding a habit entirely will force you to break said habit, it won’t teach you why you got into this particular habit, or what this habit says about your nature as a person. These thinks are both important in self-reflection and trying to become a better person. Shabbat shalom.