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Matot - Mas-ei

Matot - Mas-ei

The Tribes / The Marches of [the Israelites]

Moses spoke to the heads of the Israelite tribes, saying: "This is what the Eternal has commanded: If a householder makes a vow to the Eternal or takes an oath imposing an obligation on himself, he shall not break his pledge; he must carry out all that has crossed his lips." - Numbers 30:2-3

  • Moses explains to the Israelites the laws concerning vows made by men and women. (30:2—17)
  • Israel wages war against the Midianites. (31:1—18)
  • The laws regarding the spoils of war are outlined. (31:19—54)
  • The tribes of Reuben and Gad are granted permission to stay on the east bank of the Jordan River. (32:1—42)
  • 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 Matot - Mas-ei?

2019 Aug 3
/2 Av, 5779
2020 Jul 18
/26 Tammuz, 5780
2022 Jul 30
/2 Av, 5782


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    Before setting off on a hike in the mountains of Montana, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner was unsettled by all the signs warning about bears. He peppered the National Park Service employee with questions about which trails might be bear-free. The employee pointed out that if it were bear-free, it would not be a wilderness. Over the course of the Book of Numbers, the Israelites encountered many trials in the wilderness. Now, this next generation of Israelites is ready to work together as a people.

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    In this double portion, there is a lot of focus on building and community development. Here are some questions and ideas for discussions with young children.

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    In this double parasha* boundaries are noted and itineraries set! Listen to learn of others they encounter in battle.

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