Simcha's Torah Stories - Naso

Become a Supporter Library Library
Simcha's Torah Stories


Mommy, I'm home.

Chaim, how are you? It is getting late and we were a little worried.

I'm fine, Mommy. I was having such a good time at the Bar Mitzvah that I decided to stay a little later.

Please tell me all about it Chaim. What is the name of the Bar Mitzvah boy?

Yaakov Hirsch.

Is he from the Hirsch family that belongs to our shul?

Yes Mommy, he is their second son.

They are a very wealthy family, Chaim. No wonder you stayed a long time at the Bar Mitzvah. It must have been a very fancy affair. I am sure the food and decorations were very luxurious.

Not really, Mommy. It was very nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. I stayed long because I was having a great time. Everyone was so warm and friendly. The Hirsch family really is very special. They are so humble that you would never know that they are wealthy.

I am impressed Chaim. Here is a family that could have made a very lavish affair, yet they chose to be no different from everyone else. They remind me of Nesanel Ben Tsuar.

When was his Bar Mitzvah?

About 3200 years ago.

Mommy, you're joking.

No, I am not, Chaim. He was one of the Prices of the Tribes of Israel in the desert. He participated in the inauguration of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Betzalel and his artisans built the Mishkan. Moshe Rabbeinu assembled it. Ahron HaKohen offered up the first sacrifices. Then came a big inauguration ceremony where each of the Princes brought an offering to the Mishkan. The first day, Nachshon Ben Aminadav, the Prince of the tribe of Yehuda brought a beautiful offering consisting of gold, silver, a meal offering, oil, and several animals. Then came the second day. Nesanel Ben Tsuar, prince of the tribe of Yissachar had his opportunity. He could have brought an even bigger and more elaborate offering. After all, he was a wealthy man, the prince of his tribe. A fancy offering would bring honor to himself and his tribe.

I can't wait to hear what he brought.

He brought the exact same offering as Nachshon. Not only that, all of the other Princes followed his example and brought the exact same offering.

Why did they do that Mommy?

Chaim, I will tell you how the Chofetz Chaim explains this event. Nesanel did not want to provoke jealousy among the Princes and the tribes. If he brought a nicer offering than Nachshon, then each successive Prince would feel obligated to bring an even nicer one. Rivalry and jealousy would arise.

That was so considerate of him.

You're right Chaim. It gave G-d such pleasure to see His children (the Jewish people) getting along so well. He wrote down each Prince's offering separately in the Torah. We all know that the Torah does not waste words. Seventy-two verses are devoted to these wonderful acts of peace and cooperation.

Mommy, I can think of another benefit of Nesanel's act.

What is that, Chaim?

If they were all trying to outdo each other, then a Prince who could not afford a fancier offering would be embarrassed. He might even become poor to buy an offering to keep up with the others. When everyone has the same standard, then no one has to spend lots of money trying to outdo the other.

Chaim, you are very perceptive. Just think about how much money is wasted on overly fancy things. You don't know how many people become poor because they feel they must keep up with the standard of luxury. The Hirsch family has taught us all a lesson about what is really important at a Bar Mitzvah. It is not the fancy food, clothing, and decorations. It is the consideration for other people, and the warmth that brings peace. No more, no less.

Mommy, I am sure that G-d had a lot of pleasure from that Bar Mitzvah.

That is because the Hirsch family had the same standard as everyone else. No more, no less.

Simcha's Torah Stories Archives
Ohr Somayach's Youth Page r

Simcha's Torah Stories is ©2000 by Simcha Groffman All rights reserved to the author
Written by Simcha Groffman
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Michael Treblow
This publication is available via E-Mail and in the following formats: [Text] [Word] Explanation of these symbols
Ohr Somayach is hosted by TeamGenesis

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.