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Pinchas (B’Midbar) Num. 25:10-30:1

Torah Portion Pinchas (B’Midbar) Numbers 25:10-30:1

Haftorah Reading: I Kings 18:46-19:21

Tonight we read a Torah portion that covers a wide range of topics. We read of a new group of leaders who will take the people to the Promised Land.  Joshua is to take the position of Moshe when Moshe dies. Pinkas is granted an everlasting priesthood of peace that in some ways carries on the heritage of his grandfather Aaron. Finally we read of the five daughters of Zelophehad who came to Moshe with a request concerning their right to an inheritance after their father’s death. He died with no sons to inherit his land.

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Balak (B’Midbar) Num. 22-25

Torah Portion Balak (B’Midbar) Numbers 22-25

Haftorah Reading: Micah 5:6-6:8

Tonight’s Torah portion is somewhat unusual in that it deals mainly with an idol-worshipping magician, Bilaam, ad his failed attempts to curse the Jewish people.  First, to put things into a geographical perspective, Moav, where these verses take place, was on the southwestern side of the Promised Land. The people of Moav were the descendants of Lot. Because of this we read in Deuteronomy (D’Varim) 2:9 where G-d told the people, through Moses, to not distress the people of Moav or provoke them to war because their land was not part of the Promise Land. However, from Balak’s reaction we can assume he was unaware of this and feared the coming Israelites. He thought he needed more help than an army so he turned to Bilaam, apparently a famous person in the ancient world, known for his ability to bring curses down on people and nations. Something to keep in mind, Bilaam lived in what is now Iraq which was a long journey for the messengers of Balak to travel. This distance also speaks of his fame and gives us some idea of how much time it took to bring Bilaam to Moav.

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Chukat (Ordinances) Numbers (B’Midbar) 19-22

Torah Portion Chukat (Ordinances) Numbers (B’Midbar) 19-22

Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33


Today we read a Torah portion about the death of both of Moshe’s siblings, Aaron and Miriam. We also read of the remedy for being ritually unclean. You could become ritually unclean by being with or in the house of someone who had died. The only remedy for this level of uncleanness was to be sprinkled with water that contained the ashes of a red heifer.

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