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Mas-ei

Mas-ei

The Marches of [the Israelites]
Numbers
33:1-36:13

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

Summary: 
  • 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)

RECENT COMMENTARY

  • 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

    Learn about parashah Masei with your tween!

  • Torah for Teens

    Learn about the biblical view of murder and manslaughter in this edition of Torah for Teens.

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