Written by: Rabbi Avrohom S. Moller
All On the Same Page
In this week’s parsha, Nasso, we read about the leaders of each shevet (tribe) bringing an offering at the dedication of the mishkan. If we pay close attention, we notice that each offering was exactly the same. This begs a question. Since the very concept of creating the 12 shevatim is that every shevet has its own unique role to play, if they are all doing the same thing, where is the individuality that is supposed to emerge from each shevet?
There is a powerful lesson to be learned here. It is true each shevet had its own individual role to play. For example, Shevet Levi was composed of the kohanim who served in the Bais Hamikdosh, Shevet Yehuda produced the kings while Shevet Yissachar produced Torah scholars. In addition, throughout the year, each shevet had plenty of other opportunities for individual growth and expression.
However, at this moment there was one goal in mind. The Jewish people were about to dedicate the mishkan to serve Hashem. They all had one focus, and therefore, brought the same exact offering. As they were starting, so to speak, the first synagogue of Klal Yisroel, the first business of order was to be on the same page, having the same goal, building the mishkan as a unified people in serving Hashem.
The same is true as we gather in our shuls whether it be daily, Shabbos, or Yom Tov. We all have different roles to play when we are interacting with the world around us. Some of us are rabbis, teachers, lay leaders, etc. However, when we come to shul, we all do the same thing; we say the same words and tefillos. We recognize that these moments of davening unite us in serving Hashem. Perhaps, that unity in shul is what gives us the ability to go out and serve Hashem in our individual roles as well. I believe that is what the nesiim (leaders of each shevet) recognized. When we come together, we all need to start on the same page. After doing so, we can branch out and fulfill our individual roles in this world, completing many pages in the book of the Jewish people.