Naso - (Lift up)
Torah Portion: Naso (Lift up)
Torah Reading: Numbers 4:21-7:89
Prophetic Reading: Judges 13:2-25
“Instructing Your Children in the Ways of God”
In this week’s prophetic reading we learn something about being a good, i.e. godly parent. The parents of Shimshon (Samson) were without a child because Manoach’s wife was barren. One day the Angel of the Lord appeared to her and announced that she would conceive and give birth to a son. Upon hearing this news Manoach responded in a very wise manner. We are told that,
“Manoach entreated HaShem and said, ‘Please O God may the man of God that You sent, come unto us again and teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born?”
Godly parents realize that raising children is not something one can do successfully without divine assistance. It is very important that one sees that it was because of Shimshon’s parents praying and raising him according to the instructions of God that one reads in verse twenty-four that “HaShem blessed him”.
If you are a parent, are you praying not only for the safety of your children, but also for wisdom from God on how to raise them and assistance in what to teach them? All too often parents focus on their children’s physical needs and neglect personally instructing them in the ways of God. Judaism offers a great rule for instructing children. Each morning when a man is in the synagogue he places the T’fillen on his arm and between his eyes as we are commanded in Deuteronomy 6:8, 11:18, Exodus 13:9, and 16. The man usually dons the T’fillen for about 40 minutes each day (T’fillen are not donned on Shabbat and Holidays).
It is recommended that a father gives approximately 40 minutes each day to instructing his children in the word of God. This investment in your children will have a tremendous return. We already have seen what it is from verse twenty-four; HaShem will bless your children.
People have pointed out that Shimshon did not always demonstrate godly living. This is true and it is most sad when godly people submit to the desires of the flesh. The truth is that there will be times when every believer stumbles and fails. This is not however being defeated. One is only defeated when the person fails to turn back to God in repentance. Even though Shimshon had some very low points, in the end he did finish well, laying down his life for his people.
Why would one who failed so miserably before God in the end turn back to HaShem? Perhaps it was due to his parent’s influence in his life? Shimshon knew that he had not only sinned, but disappointed his parents, but his parents continued to love him. It was this unconditional love that may have shaped Shimshon’s understanding of God and caused him to believe in the forgiveness of God and that He would move again in Shimshon’s life.
In conclusion, it is interesting how Shimshon laid down his life for his people, a foreshadowing of Messiah Yeshua who likewise offered His life for the strongest enemy of His people—sin.
Why not begin taking 40 minutes a day to instruct your children in the truth of our New Covenant faith?
Dr. Baruch Korman – May 26th, 2023