Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Naso II

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This week we read the Torah portion of Naso, which is the longest Parshah in the entire Torah. As such, it discusses several different subjects. Among the topics in this week’s Parshah is the law of a Sotah, an unfaithful wife. The Torah begins by saying that[1] “Should any man’s wife go astray …” The word which the Torah uses for “going astray” (תשטה) is related to the Hebrew word for folly or foolishness (שטות). Rashi is quick to point this out. He cites the words “Should any man’s wife go astray” and explains as follows. “Our Sages teach that adulterers do not sin unless a spirit of folly (שְׁטוּת) enters them …” In fact, the Sages teach this as a general rule which applies to all types of sins. The Talmud[2] tells us that “Resh Lakish said, ‘A person does not commit a transgression unless a spirit of folly (שטות) enters into him; as the Torah says, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray (תשטה).’”

Rashi and the Sages tell us that one would never sin unless he becomes temporarily insane. The Torah contains 613 commandments. Why teach us this concept here? Many of these Mitzvos are so much more common than adultery! Why not use any of the other 612 commandments to teach us that sin is a form of insanity?

Our relationship with G-d is analogous to that of a wife to her husband. Hence when a Jew sins, he is comparable to an unfaithful wife. Hashem gives us life, sustains us, takes care of us, and creates us! Listening to Him should be axiomatic! How is it possible to ignore what her Husband tells her? Moreover, how and why should I allow myself to “wander” and express interest in a different “Husband?”

There are two possible explanations. One is that I am unaware of the care which G-d shows to me. I never learned of the relationship which I have with my “spouse.” In that case, now is the time for my fellow Jews who are fortunate enough to have received a Jewish education to share their knowledge with me.

If I am fortunate enough to have a proper Jewish education and choose to stray (G-d forbid), I must be temporarily insane. But that is no reason to despair. It is only temporary. I always have the option to get my priorities straight and do Teshuvah.

May Hashem help us all to regain our sanity!

Have a wonderful Shabbos and a healthy summer!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 2, Page 311-314

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. Our Parshah, Bamidbar 5:12.

[2]. Talmud Sotah 3, a.

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