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The Marches of [the Israelites]

These were the marches of the Israelites who started out from the land of Egypt, troop by troop, in the charge of Moses and Aaron. - Numbers 33:1

  • The itinerary of the Israelites through the wilderness from Egypt to Jordan is delineated. (33:1-49)
  • Moses tells Israel to remove the current inhabitants of the land that God will give them and to destroy their gods. (33:50-56)
  • The boundaries of the Land of Israel are defined, along with those of the Levitical cities and the cities of refuge. (34:1-35:15)
  • God makes a precise distinction between murder and manslaughter. (35:16-34)
  • The laws of inheritance as they apply to Israelite women are delineated. (36:1-13)

When do we read Mas-ei?

2018 Jul 14
/2 Av, 5778


  • By Laurie Rice

    "This is what the Eternal has commanded concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: They may marry anyone they wish, provided they marry into a clan of their father's tribe. No inheritance of the Israelites may pass over from one tribe to another" (Numbers 36:6–7).

    We first meet the daughters of Zelophehad in Parashat Pinchas when they are granted inheritance rights from their father in the absence of any sons. As trailblazing as it was for them to argue for and succeed in receiving inheritance rights, the end of Parashat Mas-ei qualifies this victory by mandating that they must marry within their tribe. This legislation serves to protect tribal lands in a society that was committed to and balanced upon the tribal system. A mandate that restricts who one can marry is problematic.

  • Torah for Tweens

    "The period of wanderings may be seen as a trial of faith, and … there emerges the vision of a new nation that will take possession of the Holy Land-and do so as a holy people" (Plaut, Revised Edition, 887).

  • Torah for Teens

    “... When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall provide yourselves with places to serve you as cities of refuge to which a manslayer who has killed a person unintentionally shall flee.

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