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Spiritual Cleansing and the Path to Mashiach

by Chaim Kramer

This week’s parsha is Naso, meaning to elevate or raise up. It refers to raising up the members of the Tribe of Levi and elevating them into the service of the Sanctuary.

The parsha continues with several laws regarding how to repent when someone steals something: what restitution is required, etc.

Then we come to two passages, one of which relates what to do when one suspects his wife of becoming a wanton woman. How can we ascertain if she has committed immoral acts or what happens when she is discovered to be clean of sin? The law stipulates that she must drink certain bitter waters, which will act as a test. If guilty, it will cause her fatal harm. If innocent, she will be able to bear healthy children!

The Zohar explains that the wanton woman refers to the Nation of Israel, checking whether they have been loyal to HaShem during the exile or have strayed away from Him. The bitter waters represent the sufferings, trials, and tribulations that the Jews endure during their sojourn in the Diaspora. As the Jews endure their sufferings at the hands of the nations, these “waters” check and cleanse the Jews from their sins and purify them before HaShem, so that they may continue to exist, flourish, and propagate even while in this world. These sufferings are meant as a spiritual and even material cleansing for us to be able to reach the Messianic era.

This refers to the suffering of Israel and the Jewish Nation, against whom the nations of the world spew their hatred and antisemitism, accusing us of the atrocities that they themselves committed in the past and continue to commit until today. But note that this suffering WILL end, and the Jewish Nation will once again rise up from the ashes they heap upon us.

We sincerely hope and pray that these trials and tribulations are the heralding of the Final Redemption, with the Coming of Mashiach, the Ingathering of the hostages and exiles, and the Rebuilding of the Holy Temple, Amen.

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