June 8, 2022
This week’s Parasha, Naso, has the distinction of being the longest in the Torah–with 176 pesukim (verses). That’s a lot of words in a parasha where the power of words is discussed. In Parashat Naso we learn about the importance of repairing a breach or misdeed through verbal confession.
God tells Moses, “Tell the children of Israel: when a man or woman commits any of the sins against man to act treacherously against God, and that person is found guilty, they shall confess the sin they committed and make restitution.”
Our tradition teaches us that it is not enough to experience feelings of guilt and keep it to ourselves. Nor can we decide to just start being nice to the person we’ve wronged. We fall short even if we make an offering to them, or pay restitution. Not that those things aren’t important, but the key ingredient, is face to face confession of wrong-doing, through words. We learn from this that our words hold tremendous power–the power to heal, to repair.
We do this repair work intensely during the Yamim Noraim (High Holy Days). However, built into our tradition is a daily practice of Viddui (confession) recited everyday as part of the bedtime Shema. Consider the power of a daily practice where every day we “clean slate it” with God, rather than waiting to do it once a year?
There is a trendy phrase these days in schools with anti-bullying curriculum: “If you see something, say something.” Parashat Naso has a similar vibe. If you BREAK something–like a bond, a promise, an agreement, a heart, someone’s feelings–SAY something. Confess and ask forgiveness.
Creating the bridge to repair is just a few words away, and is available everyday.