Back in the 80s when I was a kid it was called being a worrier. I am a worrier. Then in the 90s worrying became crazy, not mentally ill crazy just crazy. I am a crazy. Now its jokingly referred to as someone who needs to curb their enthusiasm. I am a enthusiast. Naso is a portion many people find confusing. It is arguably sexist and what’s the deal with the ritual of bitter water…seriously what’s the deal with that. All head scratching aside this week’s portion is one where I can literally visualize myself walking around participating in. Not sure what that says about this guy but I just can’t picture myself as a slave in Egypt or as an eye witness at the parting of the Red Sea.
My DNA is programmed with a neurosis that manifests itself in the weirdest and often times the most ridiculous of ways. These occasional…let’s call them “episodes” is why I can relate to Naso. I can see myself standing before Aaron or another priest making unfounded and irrational accusations towards my better half. I’m not a jealous man the majority of the time but I have made an accusation once or twice and while my so called evidence was laughable at best I still felt the need to accuse.
The only real way to prove infidelity is to witness the act, a confession by those accused, or a pregnancy that results in a kid who doesn’t look like you. So what exactly was the bitter water the defendent was forced to drink? A truth serum? Doubtful. Was it a poison that forced sterility? Maybe. Was it a ritual that required Hashem to step in and reveal the truth? Hopefully. Despite the mystery this is a very real lesson about having faith. Faith in those I love, faith in knowing there is not a clandestine conspiracy out to persecute and hold me back, and most importantly faith in my ability to recognize and correct my own faults.
Good news is as I get older I have less “episodes.” Its been a solid 10 years since I’ve stormed out of work only to show up the next morning like nothing happened and with the exception of one night last February I have not gotten into an asinine argument with a cabbie in a few years. Work and cab drivers have always been touchy areas for me.
As for the February episode the cabbie came back, found me marching along the side of the road and took me home. I apologized. I tipped well. Hopefully there are no hard feelings. I also hold no ill will to the fairer sex I accused of…I’m not even really sure what all I was alleging I was just accusing. We both were able to put that episode behind us and I remain on fairly good terms with her.
Naso is not just about looking guilty its also about looking for guilt when it is not there. Have faith that not everything you perceive has a sinister agenda. Have you had a Naso moment only to later regret your actions? Comment below or send me a message: Jeremiah@punktorah.org Twitter: @circlepitbimah