Naso 5779-2019

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic"
(Revised and updated from Naso 5760-2000)

A Nazirite is not permitted to drink wine or eat anything of grape origin. He is not permitted to cut his hair, and is not permitted to come in contact with the dead. While it seems as if Judaism is encouraging asceticism, it does not. Judaism is a religion that promotes a sense of “balance” based on the Torah’s structure and Divine wisdom. That balance is what is reflected in the Torah’s lessons derived from the laws of the Nazir.

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Naso 5769-2009

"An Extreme Lifestyle"

According to rabbinic interpretation, the Nazirite chooses a path of extreme behavior in order to avoid the temptations that he encounters in everyday life. Maimonides also recommends extreme behavior in order to heal oneself from negative traits. However, the extreme behavior in both instances must never be presumed to be normative. It is the "golden path" and the balanced disposition that must always be one's goal.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Naso 5760-2000

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalistic or Ascetic?"

The Nazirite is not permitted to drink wine or imbibe anything of grape origin. He is not permitted to cut his hair, and is not permitted to come in contact with the dead. It seems as if Judaism is encouraging asceticism. But this is not so. Judaism is a religion that promotes "balance" based on Divine structure and Divine wisdom. That balance is what is reflected in the Torah's lessons from the Nazir.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes