Naso – A Recharge of Torah Fundamentals

At the end of this week’s Torah portion of Naso the head of each tribe brought the same package of offerings for the dedication of the Mishkan. This wasn’t just a sacrifice of animals and incense, there was a much deeper meaning behind the specific way each part was given.
The Medrish Rabba (Bamidbar 14:22) goes into great detail about what each part of the sacrifice symbolized. For example, “One spoon (handful) [weighing] ten [shekels] of gold filled with incense” (Bamdibar 7:14). “One spoonful” or really a handful symbolized that out of everyone Hashem only chose the Jewish People as it says, “My dove, my perfect one, is but one; she is one to her mother, she is the pure one of she who bore her” (Shir Hashirim 6:9). For this reason, they are most praiseworthy than all the other nations as it writes there, “Daughters saw her and praised her, queens and concubines, and they lauded her” (Shir Hashirim 6:9), this refers to the other nations of the world [praising the Jews]. Why did Hashem choose them from all the other nations? Because all the other nations invalidated the Torah and did not want to accept it and did not choose in Hashem and His Torah which is five books that are represented by the five fingers of a hand. And [The Jews] accepted the Ten Commandments at Sinai that is what “One spoon (handful) [weighing] ten [shekels] of gold” symbolizes.
Another part of the offering was, “And for the peace offering: two oxen” (Bamidbar 7:17). This symbolizes that Hashem gave the Jewish people two Torahs, one written and one oral. He gave the Written Torah which has in it 613 mitzvos in order to fill them with mitzvos and merits as it says, “He Hashem desires [this] for His righteousness’ sake; He magnifies the Torah and strengthens it” (Yeshayahu 42:21). He gave them the Oral Torah to be more adept in it than all the other nations, and for this reason He did not give it to them written down; so that the rest of the world would not forge it, just as they did with the written Torah.”

The Anaf Yosef gives an incredible insight into why Hashem gave us so many mitzvos in the written Torah in order to fill us with mitzvos and merits. As Chaza”l say in a number of places, “Hashem wanted to bring merit to the Jews etc. as it says ‘He Hashem desires [this] for His righteousness’ sake’. The intent in this is because not everyone thinks alike rather each person might have more of an inkling for a specific mitzva over all the other mitzvos, and if there were only a few mitzvos then not every person would merit those mitzvos. Therefore, [Hashem gave us 613 mitzvos] out of the kindness of Hashem, in order to give merit and bring much righteousness to the Jews by fulfilling Torah and mitzvos in order so that there won’t be a Jew who won’t have a drive for even one mitzva of the 613 mitzvos, to try to fulfill it properly in order to merit a life in the World to Come. For even the empty ones of the Jewish people are full of mitzvos like a pomegranate. This is what the Rambam meant in his commentary on the Mishna that one of our main beliefs in Torah is that when a person fulfills a specific mitzva of the 613 mitzvos in order and properly, and he does not include in it any intent at all from the outside world, rather he does for Hashem’s sake out of love he merits a life in the World to Come.” (Click here for Hebrew text.)

G-D forbid to say that we don’t have to keep all the mitzvos! The Torah is the blueprint of creation and the handbook for mankind. It was given to us for our own sake and for the sake of the upkeep of the entire world. However, Hashem created each person in his and her own unique way, with unique tendencies, interests, and motivations. Some people like music, others athletics, some like dissecting, others are more into deep-thinking etc. Every single person has their own unique drives and talents. Hashem specifically made each person in this fashion in order to have the ability to excel and become experts at what they are inclined towards.

With that in mind, of course Hashem expects us to fulfill the entire Torah to the best of our ability; however, He gives us the opportunity to become an expert and excel in the mitzva one is most naturally inclined to do. For example, if a person likes dissecting, he might want to become  a shochet.

Hashem specifically made so many varieties of mitzvos, some that are easier than others, some that come more naturally than others, that even one who is not Torah observant might still be filled with mitzvos. For example, many people love doing acts of kindness, and chesed is a positive mitzva. Or most people don’t like eating bugs and rodents, so by staying away from eating them then you are not transgressing negative mitzvos. How easy is that!

But to easily ensure a share in the World to Come one just has to put his mind into what he knows how to do best, his favorite mitzva; become an expert at it and do it with all the right intentions, for the sake of Hashem out of pure love and you are guaranteed a share in Heaven.

It’s as easy as that! You just have to put your mind and heart into it.