What is Naso? Why the name?
This week, this section is named Naso. Naso, in Hebrew, means to elevate. However, its literal translation is “to take a census.” Moreover, it was during this time that the Nasi, which means the leader of the tribe, was chosen.
We’re all aware that today, our world is bleeding. People are demanding justice everywhere. Demanding justice puts you under the risk of being judged. Judgement always brings a lot of death, despair, and bloodshed.
Has it always been this way?
In the old days, the system of governance was dictated by the Bible. It required only particular people to be in positions of authority. The Bible said that only these specific people were able to make decisions that affected the entire tribe.
Therefore, God and Moses were the ones choosing who could become a leader- or Nasi. The Nasi was the leader and president of each individual tribe within the Israelites. Every tribe had a leader, and that leader’s duty was to guide and navigate his tribe to lead better, more successful, more spiritual, and healthier lives, with optimal physical sustenance.
The leader of the tribe had to be familiar with all the rules of physicality and spirituality. If something was not clear, that leader would turn to Moses, and, in turn, Moses would turn to the Creator for answers to questions.
What has changed?
We are living in a time where, in most countries, a president is elected by the people. Voters want personal and ideological results from their choices of their president. However, at this moment in history and in all moments moving forward, we urge the following: Once we’ve chosen a leader, we should make the choice to support them for the greater good. We shouldn’t spend our time blaming them for what they’re doing wrong, putting them down or asking ourselves who the next leader will be. That behavior creates discord and disharmony.
In the Book of Judges, we discover the world was collapsing because people revolted against leadership. Similarly today, when we start judging the actions of police, presidents and others in authoritative positions, whether we are right or wrong, that judgement creates energy. That energy can’t go away. It has to go somewhere–and off it goes…whether it is positive or negative. However, it will come back to us like a boomerang. If we awaken judgement, judgement will be awakened on us.
Therefore, we should strive to find a collective answer through our spiritual knowledge. Regardless of which teacher or leader we follow, we should be able to find a way to look at the positive side of things, see the better sides of our leaders, and let go of negativity. Only then will we be able to offer constructive support to our leaders and our communities.
This is our time to elevate ourselves. How do we do that?
Another section in the portion this week is about the monks. The monks refrain from eating grapes, from shaving their body hair, and much more. Refraining from things we’ve become accustomed to consuming or doing in our day-to-day life helps us learn what kind of restraint we can commit to on an ongoing basis.
Can we commit to not judging today? What about this week? Are we committed not to behave aggressively with others? What if our significant other get hurt? Can we keep our cool? Are we avoiding fights? We have to look within ourselves and start striving to become like the monks. In the Bible, the monks refrained from certain things for an entire year. There’s no doubt that we, as a community, can set an achievable goal of one or two weeks. People make a lot of decisions and do a lot of things in the name of injustice. Currently, we’re facing a financial crisis, trying to flatten the Covid-19 curve, dealing with a lot of outrage all over the world, the stars are not
aligned–there are actually about 6 planets in retrograde. But anger, aggressive behavior, and hatred were never solutions for making our universe a better place.
If we can do that, then, of course, everything around us will fall into place. This needs to be done collectively. It cannot be that one person does it, and the rest don’t. We all must start this vital journey and empower others to do the same. Regardless of which side you’re on, how upset or emotionally invested you are with everything, we encourage you to elevate yourself from a place of anger– to a place of responsibility. We must take responsibility for the things we do and how we feel.
What happens when anger takes over?
If you feel angry about something and you allow anger to take over, it can have terrible results. Before you steal, burn, break into other’s property, think about what is triggering you. Are there unresolved anger issues from your past? Are there loose ends, or things you’ve never taken care of?
These feelings could arise as every part of “life” seems to “fall apart.” But the anger was there; it was just dormant, while everything around you was awake, alive, and moving forward. We need to understand that whatever negative actions people are taking now, were festering emotions. They just never manifested.
In today’s world, it’s necessary to be like the monks. We have to refrain from doing whatever we want to do. We must take responsibility for ourselves, for our actions.
The anger needs to be taken care of. We cannot burn the world because of our misery. It won’t help anybody. To the contrary, it might bring everyone back to the Stone Age and we will all be equally even more miserable. The reality is that some people are born beautiful; some people are born athletic, some people are born with the ability to make money, some are born with a genius IQ. Everyone is born with a certain gift, and everyone needs to contribute to one another. We can’t be angry because our gift is not what we want it to be. Just because we are smart does not mean we can abuse the ones who are not. Just because we are strong does not mean we can abuse the weak. We cannot act out against other people because they are different.
I hope this message comes across as clear as possible. We are different, and we will always be different. Just because someone doesn’t like our religion or the color of our skin or is in some other way different doesn’t mean we have the right to kill them. We have the ability to hate. But hatred is a choice. Is that the choice we want to make? Is that how we want to live our lives? No. We should never raise our hands, minds, mouths or any other weapon of destruction to others. We must love one another, be compassionate, respectful and contribute to a better community.
We need to ask ourselves, what can we do to make our lives better?
That’s why, this week, the Bible talks about the monks–how to refrain from anger, and from our need to punish others. We must not let the negative energy that comes with anger flow through us. We must be driven by collaboration, love, respect, and compassion.