Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Nasso

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In the Haftorah of Parshas Nasso there is a discussion of the interplay between Manoach and huis wife and the angel as to how she and Manoach should raise their son. This includes a repetition of the conversation multiple times before Manoach accepts that he must be raised as a Nazir.

R' Frand quoted R' Shimon Schwalb who asked three questions about the story. First, did Manoach not know the laws of Nezirus? Did he need a review course? Furthermore, why would he need an angel to teach it to him -- why did Hashem send an angel to tell this to him? Lastly, why did the angel simply repeat and repeat the story again and again?

R' Schwalb explained that this was a fundamental discussion as to how to raise children. Manoach said to the angel, how can I raise my son as a Nazir when I myself am not one? How can I ask him to act differently than which the angel responded, Manoach - you will need to become a Nazir as well.

R' Schwalb reads into the pasuk where the angel tells Manoach all that I told the woman she should keep. But in repeating it, the angel tells Manoach, you also need to keep it. R' Frand remarked that this is another proof of the truism - you can't tell a child "do as I say, not as I do." So in order to create a Nazir, Manoach had to be a Nazir as well.

R' Frand then added to the vort by quoting the last pasuk in the parsha which states that when Moshe went into the Ohel Moed he heard the voice "Meedaber". Rashi explains that this means that Hashem was talking to Himself and Moshe was overhearing this conversation.

The Seforno expands on this and states that if you want to have an impact on someone else you need to practice what you preach. And a good way to do so is to repeat to yourself what you want to accomplish. Hashem was reciting the Torah to Himself, so that it would have an impact on Himself and Moshe.

R' Frand also quoted R' Shach who states that if a person wants to have an impact on others he must practice what he is preaching. You can't impact on someone and teach him to fear Hashem if you don't act that way. In so doing R' Shach quotes this Rashi and Seforno and explains that Hashem was talking to Himself, because you need to become that person in order to have an impact on others.

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting a Ba'al HaTurim in Beshalach on the pasuk where Moshe is told to split the sea (Shemos 14:16). Moshe is told Har'eim - lift up his staff. There are two other times in Tanach where the word Har'eim appears - in Yishaiah where he is told to raise his voice like a shofar and in Melachim Beis where there is an instruction to raise one's self.

What is the link between these three instances? The Bobover Rebbi in the sefer Kedushas Tzion explains that there are three ways to have an impact on children - lift up the stick, lift up your voice or lift yourself up. The first two have negative impacts as well, but the third is most positive in its impact and we learn it from Hashem and the way He interacted with Moshe.

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