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Pesukim: 112 [Siman:בקי ]
Haftorah: Yermiyahu 1:1-2:3
|Number of Mitzvos:
There are a total of two Mitzvos in Parshas Matos; One positive command and One negative command. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.
1. Mitzvah 407/Negative 239: Not to transgress a vow.
- The laws of Nedarim:
- Hashem spoke to Moshe to speak to all the heads of tribes saying: A person who made an oath or vow is to keep his word.
- Daughter in her youth: If a woman, while in her youth [i.e. Na’arah], makes a vow, then her father can either accept it or annul it on the day he hears of the vow. If he remains quiet after hearing of the vow, then the vow shall stand valid. If, however, her father restrained her from the vow, on the day that he heard of her vow, then the vow is abolished, and Hashem will forgive her.
- Naarah who is engaged: If a wife [who is a Naarah and is only engaged, Kiddushin/Eirusin] makes a vow, then her husband [and father] can either accept it or annul it on the day he hears of the vow. If the husband [or father] remains quiet after hearing of the vow, then the vow shall stand valid. If, however, her husband [and father] restrained her from the vow, on the day that he heard of her vow, then the vow is abolished, and Hashem will forgive her.
- A married woman: If a wife who is married makes a vow regarding a matter that causes personal affliction, then her husband can either accept it or annul it on the day he hears of the vow. If he remains quiet after hearing of the vow, then the vow shall stand valid. If, however, her husband restrained her from the vow, on the day that he heard of her vow, then the vow is abolished, and Hashem will forgive her.
- A single woman: The vow of a [single woman such as a] widow or divorcee stands valid.
- Bnei Yisrael wage war against Midian:
- Hashem spoke to Moshe saying that he should take vengeance against Midian and he will then pass on. Moshe recruited 1000 soldiers from each Tribe. They went to battle together with Pinchas the son of Elazar, and the sacred vessels of the Temple [i.e. Aron], and the trumpets in hand.
- The outcome of the battle: They killed every male, including all the five kings of Midian who were named Evi, Rekem, Tzur, Chur and Reva. Balaam the son of Beor was killed by the sword. They captured all the wives and children of Midian and all their animals and assets. Their cities and houses and buildings were all set on fire. The army brought all the spoils of people, animals and items to Moshe and Elazar.
Shelishi (Sheiyni when combined with Maasei)
- Moshe is enraged that the females survived: Moshe, Elazar and the tribal leaders came to greet the soldiers outside of the camp. Moshe became enraged at the officers and generals for allowing the women to live, despite them being the ones who caused the plague to fall upon Bnei Yisrael when they seduced them according to the advice of Balaam.
- Killing the captives: Moshe commanded them to kill all male children and all the women who have reached age of marriage. The remaining females were taken as captives.
- The laws of Tumas Meis
- Moshe told the soldiers who returned from battle that all those who killed someone or touched a corpse are required to stay outside the camp for seven days and be sprinkled with the red heifer water on the 3rd and 7th Likewise, all the vessels that touched the impure must be purified with the Mei Niddah.
- Laws of Kashering:
- Elazar the son of Aaron told Bnei Yisrael that all the metal vessels of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin and lead, that they took from the Midianites, need Kashering. Those vessels that are used with fire must be purified with fire and Mei Niddah. Those vessels used with water are to be purified with water.
- On the 7th day, the clothing is to be washed and purified and one can then enter the camp.
- The spoils are distributed:
- Hashem told Moshe to count all of the captives and animals and then divide the spoils amongst the soldiers and the rest of the Jewish people.
- The taxes: The soldiers are to give a tax to Elazar the Kohen which consists of 1:500 of every human and animal captured. Bnei Yisrael are to give a tax to the Levites which consists of 1:50 of every human and animal captured.
- Moshe and Elazar did as Hashem asked.
- The final amount of distribution of the spoils and taxes: The following was the count of the spoils: 675,000 sheep; 72,000 cattle; 61,000 donkeys; 32,000 women below the age of marriage. The soldiers received 337,500 sheep; 36,000 cattle; 30,500 donkeys; 16,000 women. Hashem’s tax from the soldier’s spoils was: 675 sheep; 72 cattle; 61 donkeys; 32 women.
- The Jewish people received 337,500 sheep; 36,000 cattle; 30,500 donkeys; 16,000 women.
- Moshe gave the tax from Bnei Yisrael’s spoils to the Levites.
- The commanders give a donation: The commanders of the soldiers approached Moshe and told him that no soldier was killed in the war and they therefore have brought Moshe a present of gold vessels for atonement. The present consisted of gold vessels, anklets and bracelets, earrings, and Kumaz. Moshe took the vessels and gave them to Elazar Hakohen to place in the Ohel Moed as a remembrance.
Shishi (Shelishi when combined with Maasei)
- Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuvein receive the land of Og and Sichon:
- The request: Bnei Reuvein and Gad had a lot of livestock, and they desired to receive the land area of Yazer and Gilead for their animals to graze. They approached Moshe, Elazar, and the tribal leaders and asked to receive this land in exchange for the land that is across the Jordon.
- Moshe’s reply and the subsequent agreement: Moshe replied to Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuvein by criticizing them for their request, saying they are discouraging Bnei Yisrael from wanting to enter Eretz Yisrael and are repeating the mistake of the Meraglim. They replied to Moshe saying that they will build cities for their families and animals and then wage war with the rest of Bnei Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, they will be on the front lines of the battle and will not return home until all Bnei Yisrael have inherited their land.
Shevi’i (Revi’i when combined with Maasei)
- Moshe replied that if they fulfill these conditions then he agrees to give them the land. Moshe told over the above agreement to Elazar and Yehoshua and the heads of the tribes.
- The land is given: Moshe then gave Bnei Gad, Bnei Reuvein and half of Menashe a portion in the area past the Yarden, the land of Og and Sichon. Bnei Gad and Reuvein built cities there.
- The sons of Machir, from the tribe of Menashe, waged war against the Emorite city of Gilead and captured it. Moshe consequently granted the city to Machir.
- Yair the son of Menashe captured other cities, which he named “villages of Yair.” Novach captured Kenas and named it in his name, Novach.
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