Thursday, May 31, 2012

All Jews are Equal

By Elitzur Segal

Illustration courtesy of The Temple Institute

This week's Torah portion, Naso, is the longest in the Torah. The length is due to the fact that the Torah itemizes all the gifts brought by the prince of each tribe to the dedication of the Holy Tabernacle. Each of the 12 princes brought the same gifts. Why couldn't the Torah write the list once, indicating that these gifts were brought by each of the 12 princes?

In repeating the gifts of each of the princes, the Torah emphasizes that every Jew is equally important. Every tribe has its own role to play. Even though they may look the same, each tribe's contribution is essential and unique.

The same is true of individuals. The Torah commands every Jew to bring a half shekel to the Tabernacle: no more and no less. We are all part of the whole and we are all equal before G-d in His Temple. This is the message of the equality of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Shabbat Shalom

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