Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Parshat Naso, 3rd Portion (Numbers 5:1-5:10), May 27, 2014

I'm surprised again about the lack of empathy for the disabled. Anyone who has been afflicted with tzara'ath (disfigurative conditions of the skin, hair of the beard and head, clothing made of linen or wool, or stones of homes located in the land of Israel) or a male discharge, or who has had contact with the dead should be banished.

Then the Lord tells Moses that if people swear to G_d falsely they should pay the injured party what they owe, plus one fifth. We see often that one fifth is added to a debt.

And if there is no one to give the restitution to them it shall go to the kohen, unless there is a kinsman of the injured. And the first fruit of the season should be given to the kohen.

In the commentary it says, ““Everyone’s holy things belong to him,” which informs us that their benefit [to give them to whichever kohen it pleases him] belongs to the owner. They [the Sages] deduced many other expository explanations from it [this clause] in the Sifrei (Naso 1:31-34). An Aggadic interpretation: “Everyone’s holy things belong to him” [means,] if one withholds his tithes and does not give them [to the kohen or Levite], those tithes shall be his, for eventually his field will produce only a tenth of its usual yield.”

This is interesting in terms of the karmic effect of not tithing.

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