By: Steve Kirschenbaum
Parshas Naso contains the Parsha of Nazir. We know from the Nezirus of Shimshon that the Gevuros HaShem is somehow tied to being a Nazir.
Not only Shimshon the most famous Nazir, but Shmuel Hanavi was a Nazir.
Chazal says that his mother promised that he would be a Nazir when he is born. This is despite the fact that a mother can’t force a child to be a Nazir, but Shmuel was a Nazir nonetheless. As it says in Shmuel 1 1:11 ‘U’moreh Lo Ya’aleh Al Rosho.’ There were individuals that had Nezirus, who had the vow of Nezirus upon them.
We find by Shimshon that every time he used his strength, the Pasuk says like is found in Shoftim 14:6 that ‘Va’tizlach Alav Ruach HaShem,’ a certain spirit of G-d came upon him. What is this Ruach HaShem?
The Moreh Nevuchim in 2:45 teaches that Ruach HaShem is a certain type of Koach HaNefesh, a spirit that is Mezareiz him, that rouses a person to want to act for the greater good of Klal Yisrael, for the greater good of the Tzibbur, or simply for the greater good of a need that’s standing. The Moreh Nevuchim quotes as an example Moshe Rabbeinu after he ran away from Mitzrayim when he came upon the Bnos Yisro. Moshe went and rescued them from the Ro’im that was antagonizing them, that were threatening them. From where did Moshe get the strength, the spirit to step in and rescue them? Here he was, all alone, far away from Klal Yisrael, from his parents and family, in a strange land. According to the Medrash, he had left when he was 13 and at this point, he was almost 80 years old; it was 67 years later of being alone. Then, there’s a Ruach HaShem, there’s a certain spirit a person that awakens within him to try to do the right thing. That Ruach HaShem is a Koach of a Nazir. A Nazir enters the Nezirus period not knowing where the Nezirus will lead him. Whether he will be successful in the different challenges of Nezirus, that is a Ruach HaShem.
We find the opposite, a Ruach Ra, by Shaul. Shaul had a Ruach Ra that stimulated and confused him. In Shmuel 1 16:14, the Pasuk says that the Ruach HaShem left Shaul and he had a Ruach Ra. What is that Ruach Ra? The Klei Yakar in the 17th Perek of Shmuel 2 explains what happened to Shaul. Golias comes in Perek 17 and they are all afraid. They are all frozen and can’t do anything. A few Perakim earlier in Perek 13, Shaul goes with 600 soldiers that did not have any weapons and they went against an army of 30,000. He wasn’t afraid and he went with the Ruach HaShem. Then in Perek 17, he is afraid; he Ruach HaShem left him.
Says the Klei Yakar, what is the Ruach HaShem? Shaul was thinking about his failures, about his Onesh, about losing the Malchus — his pessimism and his sad thoughts overtook him. He felt like a failure, which is the opposite of Ruach HaShem. Ruach HaShem is to undertake responsibility and to have optimism and positive thoughts moving forward. When things are difficult, to feel I will shoulder it, I will act, and I will get it done. What Refuah did Shaul try? He brought David as a Menagein, as a musician for him. Specifically David, David Ba’tzor Hirchavta Li, when things are difficult, he is able to do. Strength depends on focusing on the positive. Ruach HaShem is to see yourself under the wings of HKBH and to focus on what you could do and what you are able to do.
Later, we find when David HaMelech has his first son with Bas Sheva and the son is sick, David HaMelech sits on the ground in Tefillah and puts Eifer on his head. He is crying to the Ribbono Shel Olam and the baby dies. Once the baby dies, David gets up, brushes himself off, and moves onward. The people around him were amazed and said when the baby is sick, he is Mis’abeil, when the baby dies, he gets up?
David replied when I thought that my Davening could help him even the slightest is one thing, but now he’s not coming back to me anymore. Ani Avo Acharav, eventually my day will come, and I will go and meet him in the Olam HaEmes. At that point, he picked himself up with the Ruach HaShem and moved forward. That is the strength of a Nazir. A Nazir has a positive Ruach HaShem.
Imagine, the Nazir takes upon himself a handful of Yissurim, a handful of restrictions, and starting out, he doesn’t know where it will end up, where it will lead. Nonetheless, he is positive, he is optimistic, and he has a Ruach HaShem within him.
That is the Ruach HaShem of Nezirus. That is the Ruach HaShem we need to carry on in our everyday lives.