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Friday, Sivan 11, 5782 / June 10, 2022


The Torah reading this Shabbat in the Diaspora is Parshat Naso. In Israel they will read Parshat Beha’alotcha (one Parsha ahead).  


As mentioned yesterday, Parshat Naso is the longest Parsha in the Torah. In most years it is read on the Shabbat after Shavuot, the holiday in which we celebrate receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, thus it is very appropriate that on this Shabbat we read the longest Parsha of the Torah.


The Three-fold priestly blessing, with which the kohanim bless the Jewish people, is in this Parsha. This too is very appropriate to be read on the Shabbat after we received the Torah, as Torah brings blessings.


The dedication of the Tabernacle (Mishkan), with its special ceremonies, when the heads of each of the twelve tribes brought their gifts and sacrifices to the Mishkan, is also in this week’s Parsha, Naso.


In connection with the holiday of the giving of the Torah, which we just celebrated, here are questions and answers about the Torah.


Q.  On special days, such as Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, holidays, Chanukah, Purim and fast days, we read from the Torah. Why do we also read from the Torah every Monday and Thursday, even not on holidays.  What is special about Mondays and Thursdays?


A. The Torah tells us that three days must not pass without Torah. To accomplish this, the sages established that, in addition to Shabbat, we should also read from the Torah every Monday and Thursday.  This way three days will never pass without the reading of Torah.


The reason Mondays and Thursdays were chosen rather than other days, is because on these two days the fairs would be held in the cities and the villagers and farmers from the surrounding areas would come to the fair in the city to sell their produce and buy their needs. Thus, people coming from villages, where there were no synagogues, would also be able to hear the reading of the Torah.


Q.    Why is a Kohen called to the Torah first?


A.   The Torah says that we must give the Kohen, who served in the Temple and blesses the Jewish people, special honors, including the honor of being called first.


Q.  Why, after the kohen gets the first aliya (call up). another kohen cannot be called up after him?


A.  Out of respect for the kohen. People may suspect that the reason another kohen was called is because there is doubt if the first kohen is truly a kohen. Thus, a second kohen cannot be called after the first one. Our sages were so careful (and we should be too) with the respect and feelings of others.  




Montreal candle lighting time: 8:24 / Shabbat ends: 9:41