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Shavuot
Amid Israel’s war in Gaza, there is talk of drafting yeshivah students into the army to bolster its ranks. On Shavuot, we celebrate the anniversary of receiving the Torah, so I want to write about the role of Torah in war. The Torah is not just a dusty old book …

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Home » Naso

Naso: Who Is the Misfit Anyway?

Submitted by on May 28, 2006 – 4:12 amNo Comment | 4,223 views

A Deeper Meaning

The first verse of this Parsha, tells us to “raise the head of the tribal family Gershon”. In addition to the simple meaning of the words, “raise the heads,” which means take a census; there is a deeper meaning that lies submerged beneath the text. With a little burrowing, however, we should be able to find it.

The Hebrew name “Gershon” carries a distinctive meaning; it means to banish or to dismiss.

The Generous Approach

There are those in society who are of lesser character or deficient intelligence. It is often our practice to banish these misfits from our circle of supposed equals. The Torah informs us that this course of action is usually inappropriate.

If there are those amongst us who do not fit in then let us not banish them, let us “raise their heads”. Let us teach them, nurture them and uplift their spirits so as to enable them to “fit in.”

The Humble Approach

One final word. At times we are meant to raise those who are lower then us. There are also times when we are meant to “meet” them by descending to their place. This requires a simple change in perspective. It asks us to abandon our arrogant perch and allow others, if only for a while, to sit on our self made pedestal.

It is amazing how different things look from a different perspective, especially from a humble perspective!

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