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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Bemidbar: Parashat Naso: Repetition of Meaning

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi



Parashat Nao is known for the repetition that exists in the middle of the parasha that lists the offering of each Nasi (tribe's viceroy) brought to the dedication of the altar.

Parashat Nao is known for the repetition that exists in the middle of the parasha that lists the offering of each Nasi (tribe's viceroy) brought to the dedication of the altar.

Cute?

Unlike this email, the Torah does not have superfluous letters, words, or paragraphs. The Midrash explains that the Torah repeated each set of qorbanot per tribe to teach that each had its own spiritual goal. However, even preceding these lists, we have 3 other cases where verses appear to be extra:

1. (7:10) "Then the leaders brought forward offerings for the dedication of the Altar on the day it was anointed, and the leaders brought their offering before the Altar.

2. (7:12-13) "The one who brought his offering on the first day.And his offering was.
Nahshon Ben Aminadav's offering is described exactly like the other leaders, except the verse which states "who brought his offering" which is implied anyway when the next verse states "and his offering was".

3. (7:19) "He brought his offering"
Netanel Ben Sou'ar, the viceroy for Yisachar, brought his offering second and also has extra words ("brought his offering") unlike the remainder of the leaders.

We need to explain why in each of these cases the Torah uses seemingly extra words.

1. The leaders failed to be the first to donate materials in the building of the Mishkan. Instead, they said that they will bring whatever else is needed after Bnei Yisrael brings their donations. Learning their lesson, the leaders of the tribes wanted to be first and give the extra effort. This is why the verses are repeated in this case.

2. Nahshon had extra Mesrout Nefesh (dedication) than the other leaders. He jumped into the waters of Yam Souf before the waters split, claiming that Hashem will provide- a fact he believed whole-heartedly. He was special, and so the Torah showed his added dedication.

3. The tribe of Yisachar learned Torah as their trade. This requires intense will and dedication towards Hashem. This is why the Torah used extra words with regard to their viceroy, Netnael Ben Sou’ar.

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