This week’s Torah portion discusses the following: Duties of Gershon, Merari,Tally of the Levites, Purifying of the camp, Nazirite, Priestly blessing, the dedication offerings according to the tribes and the alter dedication.
Many topics are discussed in this week’s Torah Portion but the one that will be expounded on is the Nazirite. This could be done by a man or woman.
What did a Nazarite do after he took this vow:
If one takes upon them self a vow to be a nazirite they had to separate them self from a few items. What were they and why?
1.The Nazarite had to separate completely from wine-brandy. The person didn’t drink any grape beverages or raisins. The person had to abstain from everything that would be made from the grape (including the seed)!
2.The word Nazir means to set apart. It can also mean crown. The Nazirite would wear a crown of hair. As long as the person was under the nazirite oath the hair on his head was not allowed to be cut. His hair is sacred while under this oath.
3. He may not be in contact with the dead. What happens if his close family departed was he able to attend the funeral?
No for he would ritually defile himself.
Why would one become a Nazirite?
By taking on this vow it can be compared to some degree of attaining the status of a priest.He had to abstain from many physical activities. A famous chazal is quoted regarding wine: When can you see a person’s true self: when it comes to matters of money, wine, laughter and anger. Ones true side can be brought out when drinking wine. On the holiday of Purim one may see family members who drink act in very different ways. Some people can drink and just pour out their heart with non-stop Torah tidbits while others throw up or even become crazy. By abstaining from wine one doesn’t act foolishly through intoxication They don’t have to worry about being watched by a fellow friend at all times while intoxicating them self. They are living life with clarity of mind. When he finishes the nazirite vow he presents his hair to Hashem.Hair is also a very physical act one can spend hours in front of a mirror brushing their hair. A single lady changes the status of her hair when she gets married. She covers her hair with a hair covering. Her hair is uncovered for her husband. It is a very special feeling for a lady for only her husband can see it and appreciate the appearance. When one works on their appearance they can work on it and work on it. They will work them self into a feeling of always needing more and more till they go crazy. Their is a story of a person who wanted to change their door mat and than needed their door changed to match and then so forth till their whole house was changed due to their new door mat. By becoming a nazarite this would heighten their awareness of becoming closer to their neshama. According to Talmudic tradition the main purpose of the vow was to avoid pride .
What would happen if a person would die in a nazarite’s presence?
The Nazarite’s head is ritually unclean. He no longer has the pure status. ON the seventh day he has to shave off the hair on his head. He needs to bring a sacrifice to atone for this inadvertent defilement. On the eighth day he brings two sacrifices one is a sin offering and another is a elevation offering. Than he can re sanctify his head. He counts the nazirite days again. Another sacrifice is brought (guilt offering). The first day of counting is not accepted since his nazi rite crown was defiled.
What happens at the end of the oath?
The nazarite needs to present himself to the priest and bring a burnt offering peace offering and a basket of unleavened wheat loaves kneaded with oil and flat matzahs saturated with oil and a meal offering with libations.The Nazarite shaves off the “crown” of his hair and places it in the fire under the peace sacrifice. After the above procedure the Nazarite may drink wine.