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    The Nazirite – Naso

    Chapter 6 of B’midbar details the laws of the Nazirite who vows to keep away from the pleasures of the world.

    Judaism is of course not the only religion that has an element of asceticism. The question is how many Jews lived an ascetic life, giving up on the things that most people regard as good and enjoyable.

    We don’t have statistics, but the answer is likely to be that it was never more than a fringe minority movement.

    It is not just the Jewish people that rejected this approach but the Torah itself.

    What being a Nazirite implies is that the world is sinful and one is best turning one’s back on it.

    Judaism preferred to say that the true believer should remain engaged with the way of the world and try from within to correct those problems that do exist. It’s harder that way, but more constructive.

    Saintliness does not require a rejection of the world.

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