Parshas Naso Sweets and Treats
This week’s Torah portion, Parshas Naso, is the longest parsha in the Torah. The parsha begins with the completion of the counting of the Levites between the ages of 30 and 50 who will be working to transport the Mishkan. Hashem then tells Moshe to send away from the camp people who are impure because of tzaraas or touching a dead body. We learn in this week’s parsha how one atones for stealing from another and then lying about the theft. He must confess his sins before a kohen and make restitution to the person he stole from in the amount of the value of what was stolen plus an additional 20 percent. If the person is a convert and has died without family members, the restitution is made to a kohen. This parsha also details the laws of the sotah and nazir. A sotah is a woman who is accused of adultery. A nazir is a person who takes upon himself an added level of holiness and is therefore not allowed to drink wine, cut his hair or become impure by touching a dead body. The kohanim, Aharon and his sons, are taught how to bless the Jewish People. This blessing is still said in synagogues today and is also the blessing used by fathers to bless their children on Shabbat.
The Mishkan was then sanctified and the leaders of each of the twelve tribes of Israel each bring gifts for the inauguration of the altar. Each leader brings gifts on a different day and is detailed in the verses of the parsha, even though they each bring identical gifts. After the twelve-day dedication, Moshe entered the Mishkan and hears Hashem’s voice coming from between the two cherubim on top of the Ark.
There are many symbols in this week’s parsha! Bubble men are back this week and symbolize the counting of the Levites and the separation of those who are impure from the camp. Candy bottles symbolize the Nazir who doesn’t drink wine. Candy ropes symbolize the long hair of the Nazir that is not cut and the number of verses in this week’s parsha – the longest in all of the Torah. Gummy bones represent the prohibition of the Nazir to touch a dead body and the commandment to send those who are impure from touching a dead body out of the camp. Candy coins symbolize the restitution made to someone after one steals. Candy lips represent the sin of stealing and then lying about it which is atoned for by confessing one’s sin to a kohen and then paying restitution. Candy lips can also symbolize the blessing that the kohanim are taught, the individual mention of each tribal leader’s gifts to the Mishkan, and the words of Hashem that Moshe hears when he enters the Mishkan after its dedication.
Do you have other ideas for symbolic treats this week? Please share them in the comments section below!