Parasha Naso (Numbers 4:21–7:89)

This is the longest Torah portion and typically falls on the first Sabbath after Listen here.

* The Torah has no problem with different peoples having different gifts. “The Gershonites had the duty, under the direction of Aaron’s son Ithamar, to carry the cloths of the Tabernacle… The Merarites had responsibility, under the direction of Ithamar, for the planks, the bars, the posts, and the sockets of the Tabernacle, and the posts around the enclosure and their sockets, pegs, and cords.” The Levites duty is to guard. There hasn’t been a white starting cornerback in the NFL since 2004.

* Who rightly succeeds Mohammed? Are the Sunnis or the Shia the good guys?

* Lefty prof Justin Murphy: The psychology of prohibiting outside thinkers

* I wanted to watch some Australian TV and stumbled on the soap A Place To Call Home, which turns out to be about a woman moving to outback Australia in 1953 after she converted to Judaism in Europe just before WWII. The show was created by a gay guy and could easily be called, “Poofters in the Outback” because of all the gay stuff. It’s not fair. I know outback Australia. There are no poofters there. Believe me.

* How gay is soccer? “US Soccer to Wear Rainbow Numbers During Pride Month Friendlies” The poz is deep and wide.

* This week’s Torah portion deals with the Sotah (woman suspected of adultery). A civilization must police women’s sexuality more strictly than men’s because most men will never turn down sex from attractive woman. Men’s sexuality is generally fixed while women’s sexuality is more fluid. Women are the sex gatekeepers. We need to know who the father is or civilization collapses. I suspect many marriages would be helped by a Sotah-like ritual so men could cease suspecting their wives of adultery. In Jewish law, adultery only occurs when a married woman has sex outside of wedlock. A faithless wife is a much more serious problem than a faithless husband just as a promiscuous single woman is more of a problem than a promiscuous single man. “The unfaithful wife is a recurring prophetic image for Israel’s infidelity to God.” (Milgrom)

* Num. 5:13: “Although capital punishment may not be imposed on the basis of the testimony of a single witness (Num. 35:30), this verse implies that the case of an adulteress is an exception.” (Milgrom)

* I had some GFs cheat on me, while my own behavior in this regard has been as pure as the driven snow. I would really liked to have seen them go through the sotah ritual and have their bellies distend with the bitter waters!

* KC: “So boring! I wanna talk about the inversion of values and my own coming of age in a world that had recently shifted its definition of morals… how my strength has always been my weakness. Nietzsche. The Jews. Etc.”

* Torah is our road map to life. Everybody wants to rule the world, but you need Torah to change the world for the good.

* Jacob Milgrom: “For Israel, about to set out on its march through the wilderness, nothing was more vital than the assurance of God’s Presence, which depended on the strict maintenance of the purity of the camp.”

This reminds me of 12-step programs where sobriety depends upon the maintenance of a spiritual program, which entails drawing up a comprehensive moral inventory, making amends, asking God to remove your character defects (selfishness, self-seeking, fear, inconsideration, dishonesty), and developing your constant contact with God. It also means working hard, keeping your side of the street clean, keeping your home and car and office clean and organized, tracking your spending and earning and how you spend your time, and living as much of your life as possible in top-line behaviors.

SLAA: “Top Lines: Replace Behaviors with Healthy Ones: Break the habit pattern. We can’t get sober in a vacuum. We can’t simply stop destructive behavior. We have to replace it with healthy new activities. Often we have to be as compulsive for a time about sobriety as we were about acting out. Try taking creative actions you’ve never taken before. Prove to yourself you are capable of healthy actions by taking them. “In maintaining my sobriety, I find it more useful to keep in mind what I call my top line rather than my bottom line. My top line is what I do want for myself, my program goals. I want to integrate myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; to relate to others from a state of wholeness; to live making decisions from a place of freedom and clarity rather than compulsion and confusion; to feel sufficiently safe to stay open enough to find the little realities of life moving, rather than needing to get dropped off a cliff to get a thrill. I want to be present, see things the way they are, and be glad to be alive. These things are beginning to happen for me.” — ©1986 Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous p. 270

Some guys can’t go to sleep without watching porn. A healthier substitute is to watch Mayday: Air Crash Investigations. They are documentaries, they’re exciting, but not so exciting that you can’t get to sleep afterward. And you don’t feel dirty the next day.

* Vox: “The Keepers has brought newfound attention to Sister Cathy’s murder, which might also bring the police new leads. Still, it’s possible we may never find out who killed Sister Cathy. But solving her murder isn’t the primary focus of The Keepers. What compels filmmaker White is the abuse that took place at Archbishop Keough and the voices of Maskell’s victims. That they are given the proper respect to tell their stories, which the church was so intent on ignoring, is the essence of the series.”

* Wikipedia: “Recovered-memory therapy (RMT) is catch-all psychotherapy term for therapy using one or more method or technique for the purpose of recalling memories.[1] It does not refer to a specific, recognized treatment method, but rather several controversial and/or unproven interviewing techniques, such as hypnosis and guided-imagery, and the use of sedative-hypnotic drugs, which are presently rarely used in the responsible treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other dissociative disorders. Proponents of recovered memory therapy claim that traumatic memories can be buried in the subconscious and affect current behavior, and that these can be recovered. The term is not listed in DSM-IV nor is it recommended by mainstream ethical and professional mental health associations.”

* Num. 5:8. Restitution first goes to the defrauded (not God!), and if he’s not around, to the priest, not to royal eminent domain, and then you sacrifice to God.

You can choose the priest who receives your donation of meat and money. Charismatic leaders are a characteristic of Jewish life. The more followers you develop, the more power, influence and money you accumulate.

* Herman Wouke’s 1962 novel, Youngblood Hawke.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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