A considerable amount of Parshat Naso is spent repeating in detail the offerings that each nasi brought to the Mishkan. Almost all of these pesukim are repetitive, as the korbanot offered by each of the nesi’im were identical. The Torah never wastes words, and we generally find a reason why a given word is used. Why was each nasi’s korban described in detail if they were identical to that of his neighbor? Rav Baruch of Pshischa explains that the reason the Torah goes into detail about the korban brought by each nasi is because they brought from their own desire, with devotion, and not out of peer pressure. There are times in life when we may act based on an example set by someone else. From one perspective, the fact that we are motivated by others is praiseworthy. On the other hand, one may act in response to someone else out of jealousy or peer pressure, and not from their own sincere commitment. The nesi’im showed true sincerity when they each brought their offerings, and this is reflected by the fact that each one of their korbanot is detailed by the Torah despite their being identical. May we continue to be motivated to live Torah lives out of personal commitment, desire and honesty.
By Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler
Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler is rabbi of Congregation AABJ&D in West Orange, NJ, and is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. Rabbi Zwickler can be reached at [email protected]