Parshat Naso: God’s dwelling place in our midst

This portion continues to remark the premise of purity as the midst where the Creator wants to dwell in us as pointed out frequently in the book of Leviticus. We also have mentioned often that purity is translated as the goodness God shares with us and wants us to enjoy in the material world, opposite to the negative trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

“Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that has an issue and whosoever is unclean by the dead. Both male and female shall you put out without the camp shall you put them that they defile not their camp in the midst where I dwell.” (Numbers 5:2-3)

Thus we assimilate that the goodness out of love’s ways and attributes do not cohabit with anything different from them. These verses also tell us that evil ways defile good ways and the absence of goodness is indeed death. As we see reflect on other parts in the Torah where “God’s dwelling among us” is mentioned the context is cleanliness as one of our common bonds with Him, realizing that the other bonds are also synonyms of goodness or inherent in it.

“Let them build a sanctuary for Me that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)

God commanded us to build the Tabernacle and the Temple of Jerusalem as the permanent awareness of our connection with Him, and interestingly the time and space where we clean all levels and expressions of consciousness in order to maintain this connection when we transgress goodness against ourselves.

In this portion we also read about the offerings the Tribes of Israel brought to the Tabernacle in their assigned days, all the same and for the same purpose which is sealing the eternal bond between God and the Jewish people. The offerings and their purpose are the same but each of the tribes is different with its own particular qualities and expressions.

“And the Lord said to Moses: ‘They shall present their offering each prince on his day for the dedication of the altar’.” (Numbers 7:11)

This is another example that our Creator wants us to live and enjoy differences and diversity not as dividing traits in human consciousness but as complementing characteristics aimed and destined to coexist as a harmonic functional unity, similar to the music score of a symphony whose purpose is to enhance, celebrate and delight in goodness as their common denominator. This is the purity in which God wants us to live and also the place where He dwells with us in order to be our God.

“I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God.” (Leviticus 29:45)

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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