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Parshat Matot-Massei


5760 This week we read a double portion; the first begins with some of the laws concerning vows and the second with a list of the forty-two journeys the Jews made in the Desert after they left Egypt. We can understand the connection between them by first telling a story.
5761 This week's double portion means ‘Tribes-Journeys” and it always falls out in the "Three weeks of mourning" for the Holy Temple.
5762 This week's double section describes, in great detail, first the spoils taken after the war with Midian and then the (forty two) journeys the Jews made before they entered Israel. At first glance this seems very strange. The word "Torah" means "teaching". What is the Torah teaching us here by telling us these seemingly meaningless facts?
5763 This week's double portion contains two tediously long lists of details: In Matot is a long list of the spoils taken after the war against Midian and in Masai is enumerated all of the (forty two) journeys and encampments the Jews made in the desert on their way to Israel.
5764 This week's double section contains the commandment of making cities of refuge. There are many interesting and complicated details to this law but in short; if someone unintentionally murdered a man, the victim's immediate relatives have the right to take revenge and kill the murderer (if there was negligence involved) unless he can reach a 'city of refuge first'.
5766 This week's double Torah portion finishes the book of Numbers. It falls in the second of the 'Three Weeks' of mourning for the destruction of the Temple and contains many stories, commandments and lessons in life. But perhaps its most important message is found in its double name: "Staffs and Journeys".
5767 The Torah is called Torat Chaim; the Teaching of Life. Every word, idea, story and commandment contains precious gems of wisdom teaching us why we were created and how we can serve our Creator and fulfill our purpose in life. But it wasn't till the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov called Chassidut that these hidden gems were made available to every Jew; even the simplest.
5769 This week’s double Torah portion contains many details; the laws of vows, the war with Midian and an interesting list of the 42 journeys the Jews made in the desert, to name a few. In addition, this week is one of the Three Weeks of Mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple and the beginning of the ‘Exile’ of the Jews some 2,000 years ago.
5770 This week we read two Torah portions. The first, called Mattot, contains two commandments, both dealing with vows. The second called Masai begins on a strange note: a detailed list of the forty two journeys and stop offs (encampments) that the Jews made in the course of the 40 years that they wandered in the desert after leaving Egypt.
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