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Reading the Bible Very Slowly : Naso, נָשֹׂא (Elevate!), Numbers 4:21-7:89

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Naso or Nasso (נָשֹׂא — Hebrew for "lift up," the sixth word, and the first distinctive word, in the parashah) is the 35th weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the second in the book of Numbers. It constitutes Numbers 4:21–7:89. Naso is the longest of the 54 weekly Torah portions, with 176 verses. The parashah is made up of 8,632 Hebrew letters, 2,264 Hebrew words, and 176 verses, and can occupy about 311 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).[1]

Jews generally read it in late May or June, typically on the first Shabbat after Shavuot.

Hanukkah menorah

As the parashah includes the story of the consecration of the Tabernacle, Jews also read parts of the parashah as Torah readings on the eight days of Hanukkah, which commemorates the reconsecration of the Temple in Jerusalem. Numbers 7:1–17 is the Torah reading for the first day; Numbers 7:18–29 is the Torah reading for the second day; Numbers 7:24–35 is the Torah reading for the third day; Numbers 7:30–41 is the Torah reading for the fourth day; Numbers 7:36–47 is the Torah reading for the fifth day; Numbers 7:42–47 is the second Torah reading for the sixth day of Hanukkah, which, because it falls on Rosh Chodesh, has Numbers 28:1–15 as its first reading; Numbers 7:48–59 is the Torah reading for the seventh day when it does not fall on Rosh Chodesh; and Numbers 7:48–53 is the second Torah reading for the seventh day when it does fall on Rosh Chodesh, in which case Numbers 28:1–15 is the first reading; and Numbers 7:54–8:4 is the Torah reading for the eighth day. When a day of Hanukkah falls on a Sabbath, however, the regular weekly Torah reading for that Sabbath is the first Torah reading for that day, and the following readings from Parashah Naso are the maftir Torah readings: Numbers 7:1–17 is the maftir Torah reading for the first day; Numbers 7:18–23 is the maftir Torah reading for the second day; Numbers 7:24–29 is the maftir Torah reading for the third day; Numbers 7:30–35 is the maftir Torah reading for the fourth day; Numbers 7:36–41 is the maftir Torah reading for the fifth day; Numbers 7:42–47 is the maftir Torah reading for the sixth day of Hanukkah, which, because it falls on Rosh Chodesh, has Numbers 28:9–15 as its sixth aliyah; Numbers 7:48–53 is the maftir Torah reading for the seventh day; and Numbers 7:54–8:4 is the maftir Torah reading for the eighth day.

The parashah addresses priestly duties, purifying the camp, the wife accused of unfaithfulness (sotah), the nazirite, the Priestly Blessing, and consecrating the Tabernacle.

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Monday, May 13, 2013 - 17:00
ARBOR CAFE -- 4210 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland more
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