PARSHAT NASO:HASHEM IN AN ORDERLY AND DISCIPLINED FASHION

Our Rabbis teach us that everything written in the Torah is recorded because of its relevance to every Jew in every generation. Why are the seemingly trivial details which dominate Parshat Naso, such as the arrangement of the encampments of the various tribes, significant and relevant to us?

Rav Aharon Kotler suggests that although this information seems like historical facts with no practical application to our lives, the parsha is in fact teaching us a very relevant lesson: the value that Judaism places on seder (organization). Instead of allowing the Jewish people to set up their own camping arrangements based on their personal preferences, the Torah insists that they specifically encamp together with other members of their tribe and additionally prescribes the positions of the various tribes relative to one another. This arrangement was in effect for the duration of their 40- year sojourn in the wilderness.

Rashi writes in Parshat Emor (Vayikra 24:10) that the blasphemer was the son of Shlomit bat Divri and the Egyptian taskmaster that Moshe slew. Because his mother was descended from Dan, the blasphemer attempted to encamp among the tribe of Dan, but they rejected him because his father was not from their tribe.

Although one person camping out of place (which was still the tribe of his mother) would seem to be insignificant, the tribe of Dan understood the critical value of preserving order and refused to allow him to camp among them. Although the particular laws about the formations and configurations of the encampments do not currently apply to us, the lesson about the value of serving Hashem in an orderly and disciplined fashion is one that we can each apply in our daily lives.

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