Parashat Naso
By Ezra Kiers

Have you ever made a decision when you’re angry and wondered, “Could I have had a different outcome if I’d been calm?” Well, you’re not alone.

Parashat Naso, meaning “lift up”, clarifies that wronging another person is considered “breaking faith with Adonai” (Numbers 5:6). To repent for such wrongdoing requires an addition to the standard sin offering in the Holy Temple. However, before someone could bring their offering to the High Priest, they first had to acknowledge their guilt “in their soul” (Numbers 5:7). The parashat explains that these offerings bring different results depending on whether or not the person is holding on to jealousy or grudges. Even though Jews no longer bring sin offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem, Parashat Nasso still teaches us a valuable lesson about forgiveness: that it has to come from within. We all make mistakes, and we all hurt people that we do not intend to hurt, but admitting this wrongdoing and correcting our ways helps to connect us back to one another, and God.
This Shabbat, Parashat Naso reminds us to reflect internally; it is never the wrong time to begin taking steps toward righting our wrongs.