Haftarah: Nasso: Thematic Questions:
Why did the Angel appeared to only the mother, and not to the father? Even when the Angel appears to Manoach, it first appears to his wife and she has to go and get her husband. The obvious answer is that the prohibitions applicable to a Nazir, which Samson was to be by a decree of God, began the even when he was in the wool, in fact, even before. Why did his nezirut begin so early? Why was it so important for the next Judge of Israel to be a Nazir? Why was this Judge, as opposed to all the others, separated to be a leader even before his conception?
If Manoach and his wife did not know that the predictor of their child was an Angel, who did they think he was? If they thought it was a prophet, we must ask why God used and Angel to bring the news, instead of a profit which would have been the more usual?
Manoach is portrayed as a full. Why is it important for the first to bring this out?
Although the verse says that Samson and judged Israel, there are no specific instances of his communal leadership portrayed. Each story told is in terms of Sampson personally, not for the well-being or protection of the nation.
It is interesting to note that in this week’s portion of Nasso, the laws of the Nazir immediately follow the laws of an adulterous woman, to teach us that if one sees an adulterous woman in her disgrace, one should become a Nazir. Nezirut will protect one from sinning. Yet, we find that the ultimate Nazir, Samson, who was a Nazir even before his conception, having many sexual encounters. His nezirut does not seem to protect him!
Why is the law of Nazir singled out from the portion of Nasso for connection to the Haftarah?
I hope that through a careful examination of the text we will be able to answer these questions.