Forbidding the Permitted
Parashat Naso

Dena Weiss

In this week’s parashah, we meet two fascinating characters.  First, we encounter the woman who is suspected of adultery, the Sotah (and her jealous husband).  Immediately after the Sotah, we are introduced to the Nazir, a person who takes certain ascetic practices upon themselves, allowing their hair to grow wild, avoiding contact with death, and refraining from all wine and grape products.  According to the Talmud, the placement of the laws of Nazir and Sotah right next to each other is by design. Comparing these two sets of laws can teach us even more about these characters and can reveal the dangers of taking an overly cautious approach in both religious and interpersonal matters.

 
Forbidding the Permitted
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