Torah Portion: B’Midbar (Numbers) 30:2-36:13
HafTorah: Jeremiah 1:1-2:28
Tonight we finish the book of B’Midbar or Numbers by reading a double portion of the book. These two sections cover a wide range of topics from the giving of a vow, the division of the Land, the victory over the Midianites where we read of the death of Bi’lam, all the journeys of Israel and the death of Aaron.
Torah Portion: Nasso (To Take or Do) B’midbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89
HafTorah: Judges 13:2-25
In this Torah section we read much about the duties of different groups of priests in the Mishkan (Tabernacle), then concluding with the entire chapter seven listing the offerings the tribes bring at the dedication of the Mishkan. However, in the middle of our reading we read a number of seemingly disconnected commandments covering a number of subjects including the laws concerning confession of sin, the Nazirite vow and the wayward wife.
Torah Portion: Naso Numbers 4:22-7:89
HafTorah: Judges 13:2-25
Let us start with a discussion of the two questions I sent out. First lets look at the gifts brought by the Princes of each tribe. In Numbers 7:1-4 we see where six covered carts, led by 12 oxen, were brought before the L-rd. That means there were two princes for each cart and an ox for each man. Then each prince brought their own gifts but their gifts were identical. Why was each gift listed over and over if they were identical? I think the carts were a good example of cooperation between the leaders. They represented the people and this showed that the people were one before G-d.
Weekly Torah Section: Chukat (Statute) Numbers 19:1-22:1, HafTorah Judges 11:1-33
In Judges we read about a crisis that had come upon the people of Gilead – a territory to the Northeast of what is the land of Israel today. The people or leaders of Gilead asked Jephthah, ( Ephtach in Hebrew), to save them from the Ammonite King who was demanding their surrender. Jephthah first tried diplomacy but that didn’t work. He then goes out and defeats the Ammonites but at a high cost. Before going into battle he made an oath or vow to G-d. What was that vow? Look in Judges 11:31. Why did he make such a vow? Did he not know what the Torah said? Yes in fact he recited the past history of the Jewish people to the King of Ammon. So he did know the Torah. He was not ignorant so why did he make this vow? Could it have been pride or arrogance? In Leviticus 27:4 it says that a female vowed to the L-rd could be redeemed for 30 shekels of silver donated to the sanctuary. So even after making the vow he could have redeemed his daughter for 30 shekels of silver.