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.
The “Opening the Book” series was originally presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group that for many years pursued spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.