Shiur for Motzei Shabbos parashas Nasso 5780
A few thoughts, as the Shabbos kedushah diminishes, with the onset of the yom rishon. “And the evening and the morning were the first day” of the week. In parashas Nasso, the passage concerning the nazir, speaks of the intention of a man or woman to separate oneself to a higher degree of kedushah (holiness), by primarily abstaining from wine and other intoxicants, as well as letting one’s hair grow. The minimum requirement for this endeavor is for thirty days; at the completion of the designated term, in addition to receiving a haircut, the nazir would bring several offerings (in Hebrew, “korban”), including a sin offering.
This is perplexing, in and of itself; although there are various differing commentaries on the reason for bringing a sin offering, this is the one that I prefer above all of the others. Ramban, Nachmanides, comments that the nazir would have best served his own intentions to live in a manner that would bring him closer to G-d, if he remained a nazir, rather than only becoming a nazir for a limited amount of time. For his decision to enter back into the world, where he will once again partake of worldly pleasures, he must needs bring a sin offering. This is the position of the Ramban, one of the most authorative Rabbinical voices in Judaism today; although, he lived about eight hundred years ago.
How much moreso, today, when egotistical desires, and the proliferation of worldly pleasures abound as normative in a modern society that typifies indulgence as the norm? We do not need to take a Nazirite vow, in order to abstain from the abnormal standards of the world; abnormal, because they are mostly antithetical to Torah. However, we can make an effort to diminish the impact of our yetzer hara (evil inclination) upon our soul; rather than tuning into the zeitgeist, I would recommend opening our eyes to the wondrous guidelines of the wisdom of H’Shem.