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Torah Reading: Naso (Numbers  4:21 - 7:89) 
Haftorah: Judges 13:2-25  
Pirkei Avot: Chapter 6 
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 8:01 PM 
Shabbat ends: 9:10 PM 
Shavuos Preparation
This year, we read the Parsha Naso before the Festival of Shavuos, which marks the day that G‑d revealed Himself to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai and gave them the Torah. In most years, however, this parsha is read on the Shabbos immediately after Shavuos. The juxtaposition of this parsha with the Festival of Shavuos suggests a connection between the two.  When Naso precedes Shavuos, though, it implies that the way to prepare for the giving of the Torah is to internalize the lessons from this parsha.
One section of Naso that stands out for its eloquence is the Priestly Blessing, which comprises three separate blessings.
The immediate general lesson taught by these blessings is that to be receptive to the Torah we ought to engage in blessing the Jewish people. As we say in our daily prayers: “Bless us, our Father, all as one, with the light of Your countenance. For by the light of Your countenance, G‑d our G‑d, You gave us a Torah of life…” To receive the Torah we need to come to G‑d “all as one,” as is so dramatically underscored in the Priestly Blessings.
When we probe more deeply into the Priestly Blessings we can find a specific lesson pertaining to our preparation for the Giving of the Torah.
Connecting the Two Phrases: “G‑d Will Raise” 
The third blessing reads: “G‑d will raise His face towards you and grant you peace.” The phrase “…G‑d will raise…” parallels language in Deuteronomy, where Moses delivers harsh words of rebuke to the Jewish people for their errant ways:
G‑d will raise upon you a nation from afar, from the end of the earth…”
There is no obvious connection between these two phrases despite the use of the same words, “G‑d will raise...” Indeed, they deal with diametrically opposite responses from G‑d. In the former, G‑d “will raise His face” towards the Jewish people and bless them; in the latter, G‑d “will raise…” an adversarial nation against the Jewish people. One is a powerful blessing and the other a painful and dire prediction. How can these words, used in utterly different contexts, be reconciled and connected?
The Chosen People
To answer this question we must first understand what occurred at Mount Sinai in terms of the way G‑d relates to us. Upon reflection, we can see that two distinct connections were made at Sinai.
First and foremost, the Jewish people were chosen by G‑d at Mount Sinai.
What do we mean by the word “chosen” here?  Chassidic thought explains that to truly choose between two items, they must be equal. If a person is thirsty and chooses to drink rather than eat he has not made a true choice.
As we shall see below, if G‑d chose the Jewish people because of any of their positive qualities it could not be considered a real choice. Human beings can never freely choose, in the fullest sense of the word, because our biases and predilections, some conscious and some subconscious, compel our choice. When we think we are freely choosing something we are actually responding to a conscious or subconscious attraction to that particular thing. G‑d, by contrast, transcends any and every reason to select one thing over another. Regardless of the qualities that we possess, His choice of us at Sinai represented His true choice, not influenced or prejudiced by any secondary consideration.
One is entitled to ask, what difference does it really make if G‑d arbitrarily chose us or that He chose us because we possessed certain qualities?
The answer is threefold:
First, if His choice of us was the result of our possessing a particular quality or set of qualities, our relationship with G‑d would fall apart when our behavior proved wanting and the quality for which we were chosen no longer existed. However, His choosing us transcended any consideration of our qualities, the relationship could never cease.
Second, a relationship based on a consideration of the other’s virtues is, by definition, limited. By G‑d choosing us irrespective of our qualities or lack thereof, it means that G‑d’s choice derived from His Essence and not from one of His attributes such as His intellect.
The closest we can come to understanding the nature of this relationship is through consideration of the institution of marriage.  It’s no coincidence that our Sages compared the experience at Sinai to the chuppah ceremony.  One may choose to marry someone because of the virtues displayed by his or her spouse-to-be. But the marriage commitment and union is not truly based on or limited by the rational evaluation of the other’s qualities. Marriage represents the commitment of two people devoting their entire being to the other, thus transcending any particular consideration.
Similarly, with G‑d and the Jewish people: While G‑d took “notice” of the Jewish people because of their Patriarchs and Matriarchs, as well as their own positive qualities, nevertheless, His choosing of them transcended all those qualities. G‑d connected His very Essence with our Essence, not just by matching His attributes with our positive attributes and virtues.
A third corollary of the concept of G‑d freely choosing us (as opposed to choosing us because of our qualities), is that G‑d chose our bodies not just our souls. Indeed, our souls did not need to be chosen in the first place; they already enjoyed an intimate relationship with G‑d. It was our bodies, no different from the bodies of all others, that were chosen by G‑d when He gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai. Indeed, the Sinai revelation was not directed at our souls at all but at our bodies. Our souls definitely benefit from the Mitzvos that we perform, but the objective of the Mitzvos is to involve our bodies in the most intimate relationship with G‑d.
Particular Qualities do Count
Having said that Sinai created an essential bond between G‑d and the Jewish people that transcends particular qualities, it turns out that specific qualities are also an important part of our relationship with G‑d, though they are of a secondary status. Despite the fact that G‑d chose us and loves us indiscriminately, nevertheless, He also cherishes those individual secondary qualities that we possess. Once again the analogy of a marriage is useful. Notwithstanding the fact that a marriage goes beyond the appreciation each spouse has for the other, transcending their specific qualities, their love and their essential bond must also manifest itself in and through their specific qualities.  Each spouse must endeavor to see the specific qualities the other possesses and not just rely on a more profound essential bond that outstrips any particular virtue.
Thus, we find many references in the Torah and in the writings of our Sages where G‑d extols specific virtues of the Jewish people. He expresses His love for us not only in and through His choosing of and marriage to us, but also in and through our virtuous secondary qualities.
Intrinsic and Relative Qualities
This two tiered relationship—i.e., the transcendent connection generated by free choice supplemented by appreciation for specific qualities—can be further divided into two additional categories: essential, intrinsic qualities versus relativistic qualities.
There were times in our history when we shone because of our great spiritual achievements, as, for example, in the times of King Solomon and the glorious period of Torah renaissance in the Talmudic period. In those periods, we did not have to be contrasted with other nations for G‑d to appreciate our uniqueness.
However, there were other times that, notwithstanding our periodic spiritual decline, G‑d would still be able to see our virtues in relative terms. Compared to the surrounding nations we still looked virtuous.
When G‑d gave us the Torah we enjoyed all three levels of G‑d’s appreciation for us: He chose us and created an essential bond with us. He appreciated our virtue in the way we declared “We will do” even before we heard what G‑d was going to offer us. And we also came out looking good in comparison to all the other nations of the world who, according to our Sages, refused to accept the Torah and did not even respect the Seven Noahide Commandments they had previously observed.
The Three Tiered Relationship of Shavuos and the Three Blessings
We can now understand the deeper significance of the Three Priestly Blessings which serve as a preparation for Shavuos.
We may suggest that these three blessings parallel the three dimensions of our relationship with G‑d at Sinai and the third blessing “G‑d will raise” relates to the way G‑d views us relative to the other nations.
As was mentioned above, this phrase parallels the one which speaks of how G‑d will raise a foreign nation to conquer the Jews. This association intimates that even if we were to hit rock bottom, necessitating tough love, G‑d will still make it clear that the Jewish people are an exalted and “raised” people by comparing them to the nations that come from afar to conquer them. Indeed, when one reflects on the evil of the nations which conquered Israel—Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans and Greeks among others—one is compelled to declare the Biblical words “Who is like Your people, like Israel, one nation on earth!”
Prelude to Moshiach
Tanya explains how everything that occurred temporarily at Sinai will become a permanent fixture with the advent of the Messianic Age.
Thus, one way of preparing for Moshiach and the ultimate Redemption, is to view the other with the three approaches alluded to by the three Priestly Blessings: We ought to see the essential bond every Jew has with G‑d; seek the beautiful, intrinsic qualities the other possesses; and even if hard-pressed to find these overt qualities, we must nevertheless try to appreciate the contrast between the other and the alien values of the “enemy that comes from afar.” At the very least, the “theory of relativity,” enables us to see the good in everyone.
Moshiach Matters
Whoever does not believe in the involvement of Divine Providence in every aspect of this world, is enslaved to that which covers and conceals Divine Providence. In the future, however, when the spirit of impurity will be removed from the earth, this Providence will become manifest; at that time, everyone will see how every single occurrence derives from G‑d.