May 24, 2009

Naso: Great Source(s)

For a frighteningly realistic and thought-provoking contemporary midrash [to Bamidbar/Numbers 5:11-31], check out the story, “Bitter Waters,” by Rochelle Krich in Criminal Kabbalah: An Intriguing Anthology of Jewish Mystery & Detective Fiction (Jewish Lights, 2001; Lawrence W. Raphael, editor).

Beginning the Journey: A Women’s Commentary on Torah — a pilot edition of the later commentary produced by Women of Reform Judaism — includes, in addition to commentary on this portion, a ritual for restoring trust between a couple.


Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” begins with this portion’s “May God bless and keep you” (Bamidbar/Numbers 6:24). The text/sentiment differs from the Torah text, but I still hear the priestly blessing:

May HASHEM bless you and guard you.
May HASHEM light up [God’s] face to you and grant grace to you.
May HASHEM lift up [God’s] face to you and give you peace.

Here’s a lovely piano cover with lyrics from an artist name Matthias.

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Bamidbar, midrash, music, mystery, Torah

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