Howdy from Philmont!
In Parasha Naso, we learn about a wide variety of topics:
- There is a census of two of the families of the Tribe of Levi, Gershon and Merari, and they are given their jobs in moving and erecting the Mishkan. (The family of Kohath was counted and given its “marching orders” in the prior parasha, Bamidbar.)
- Laws of people who have to leave camp temporary due to ritual impurity.
- Laws dealing with people accused of theft.
- Laws about Nazirites.
- The Priestly Blessing.
- Gifts from each of the 12 Tribes, brought by their leaders.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his book, Lessons in Leadership, sees several of these laws as means of dealing with possible envy:
The Levites: Much of this parasha and Bamidbar are taken up with the special tasks of the Levites and Kohanim in setting up, taking down and moving the Mishkan and also in certain aspects of the holy service, such as the Priestly Blessing. Because the special role of priesthood had gone to just one part of the family, Aaron and his sons, the other Levite families were given other important roles.
The Nazirites: A Nazir was a person who took an oath that during a certain period, usually 30 days, he would not drink wine or eat grapes or anything made from grapes, he would not cut his hair, and he would not become unclean by contact with a dead body. These practices set the Nazir apart for service to God and thereby gave him increased holiness, like the Kohanim.
The Tribes: Each tribe sent the same set of precious gifts to the Mishkan, brought by its leader on a separate day. Thus, each tribe had its day of honor.
Rabbi Sacks explains that although people will try to be humble, human nature can make us envious, and a good leader will find ways to include everyone. As he says: “Give everyone a moment in the limelight, if only in a ceremonial way. Set a personal example of humility. Make it clear that leadership is service, not a form of status.”
The leaders in your troop may do this. When the Fox Patrol leads the opening at a troop meeting, the patrol leader has different Scouts take charge. At campfires or courts of honor, the senior patrol leader asks someone else to be master of ceremonies. At Order of the Arrow events sometimes there are special meetings where each lodge sends its lodge chief and its newest member, and the new member reports back to the lodge on what happened.
Look for ways to be a leader by sharing opportunities.