Summary of Exodus: Chapters 25-34

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Parashat Terumah

Verses: 96 [Siman: יעיו]

Haftorah: Kings 1 5:26-6:13

Number of Mitzvot:

There are Three Mitzvot in Parashat Terumah. Two positive commands and One negative command.

 

A. Positive commands:

1. Mitzvah 95/Positive 38: To build a Temple for G-d.

2. Mitzvah 97/Positive 39: To constantly have bread placed in the Temple. [i.e. Showbread]

 

B. Negative commands:

1. Mitzvah 96/Negative 58: Not to remove the poles from the Aron.

 

Chapter 25

First Aliyah

  1. Donating to the Temple:
  • G-d spoke to Moses saying: Take donations from the people of Israel, from whoever is of generous heart to give. I need the following donations:
    • Gold,
    • Silver,
    • Copper,
    • Techeiles Turquoise wool,
    • Argamon purple wool,
    • Scarlet wool,
    • Linen,
    • Goat hair,
    • Red dyed ram skins,
    • Techashim skins,
    • Shittim Acacia wood.
    • Oil for lighting
    • Spices for the anointing oil and Ketores incense.
    • Shoham stones
    • Filling stones for the apron and breastplate.
  • Make for me a Temple and I will dwell within you. Make it the same exact way that I show you, it and all its vessels.
  1. The Aron:
  • Material: Make the Aron of acacia shittim wood.
  • Dimensions: It is to be 2.5 cubits in length and 1.5 cubits in width, and 1.5 cubits in height.
  • Its particulars: It is to be covered with pure gold both in its interior and exterior. It is to contain a gold crown surrounding it. It is to contain four welded gold rings, two on each side, and have two poles made of acacia shittim wood, and coated with gold, inserted into it for it to be carried with.
  • The poles may never be removed from the rings.
  • What it contains: The Tablets of the law that I [i.e. G-d] will give you are to be inserted into the Aron.

Second Aliyah

  • Kapores (Lid) and Cherubim: You shall make a lid [i.e. Kapores] of pure cold for the Aron. Its dimensions are to be 2.5 cubits in length and 1.5 cubits in width. You are to make two Cherubim of gold on the opposite ends of the Kapores lid. The Cherubim are to be made from the gold of the Kapores lid. The Cherubim are to have wings spread upwards, and are to face each other, and face towards the lid. The Kapores is to be placed on top of the Aron.
  • I will speak with you from above the Kapores, from between the Cherubim.

 

  1. The Shulchan/Table:
  • Material: Make the Shulchan/Table from acacia-shittim wood.
  • Dimensions: It is to be 2 cubits in length and 1 cubits in width, and 1.5 cubits in height.
  • Its particulars: It is to be coated in gold and contain a gold crown around its rim. It should have a one handbreadth frame around its entire circumference, and the frame should have a gold crown around it. It is to contain four welded gold rings, one by each corner, and have two poles made of acacia-shittim wood, and coated with gold, inserted into it for it to be carried with.
  • Its accessories: You are to make pure gold dishes, spoons, tubes and supports.
  • The Lechem Hapanim-Showbread: You are to always place on the table before G-d the Showbread.

 

Third Aliyah

  1. The Menorah:
  • Material: Make the Menorah from pure gold. It is to be made from one Kikar of gold.
  • Dimensions: It is to be 2 cubits in length and 1 cubits in width, and 1.5 cubits in height.
  • Its particulars: It is to contain a base, branches, goblets, knobs and flowers made from the original piece of gold. It is to have six branches, three from each side. Each branch is to contain three goblets, decorated with a knob and flower. The base of the Menorah is to contain four goblets decorated with knobs and flowers. Under each set of branches a button is to be formed. Everything is to be formed from the same piece of gold. It is to have seven candles, and the candles are to light towards its interior.

 

Chapter 26

  1. The Tabernacle Tapestries of wool and flax:
  • The Tabernacle is to be made of ten tapestries.
  • Material: The tapestries are to be made of twisted flax, Techeiles Turquoise wool, Argamon Purple wool, and scarlet wool- the work of an artist.
  • Dimensions: Each tapestry is to be 28 cubits long and 4 cubits wide.
  • Its particulars: One is to attach the tapestries to each other in two groups of five. The ends of the two groups of tapestries are to contain 50 loops, corresponding to each other. You shall make 50 gold hooks to attach the two groupings together and hence have one Tabernacle.
  1. The Tabernacle Tapestries of goat hair:
  • Over the Tabernacle [i.e. wool tapestries] you are to make 11 tent panels
  • Material: These panels are to be made of goat hair.
  • Dimensions: Each panel is to be 30 cubits long and 4 cubits wide.
  • Its particulars: One is to attach the tapestries to each other into two groups, one containing five and the second containing six. The ends of the two groups of tapestries are to contain 50 loops, corresponding to each other. You shall make 50 copper hooks to attach the two groupings together and hence have one Tabernacle. The excess tapestry is to be hung half over the front of the Tabernacle and half by the back of the Tabernacle. The excess cubit on each side of the Tabernacle will spread over the sides.
  • The covering of the Ohel tent: You are to make a covering for the tent panels of red dyed ram skin and a covering of Tachash skin above it.

Fourth Aliyah

  1. The Kerashim/beams:
  • You shall make beams for the Tabernacle. Make 20 beams for the southern side and 20 beams for the northern side. The west side is to have 6 beams, plus two corner beams, for a total of 8 beams.
  • Material: The beams are to be made from acacia-shittim wood. They are to be coated with gold.
  • Dimensions: Each beam is to be 10 cubits in length and 1.5 cubits in width.
  • Its particulars: The beams are to be erected in a standing position. Each beam is to contain two projecting pieces of wood [i.e. tenons] which are perfectly aligned across each other. You are to make silver sockets for the beams, two sockets per beam, for each of its tenons. Thus, the 20 beams of the southern side are to have 40 silver sockets and the 20 beams of the northern side are to have 40 silver sockets. The 8 beams of the southern side are to have 16 silver sockets. Every beam is to contain a groove on each of its sides which will allow for rings to be placed on every pair of beams, thus attaching all the beams together. The rings are to be made of gold.
  • The poles: You are to make five poles of acacia-shittim wood for three sides of the Tabernacle, five for the northern side, five for the southern side, and five for the western side, for a total of 15 poles. The poles are to be inserted into the beams and extend from one end to the next. The poles are to be coated with gold.

 

Fifth Aliyah

  1. The Parochet curtain:
  • The material: You shall make a Parochet curtain of Ticheiles wool, Argamon wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an artist.
  • The beams which hold the Parochet curtain: The Parochet curtain is to be placed on four pillars of acacia-shittim wood which are covered with gold. The pillars are to contain golden hooks and contain four silver The Parochet curtain is to be hung on those hooks.
  • Its location: The Parochet curtain and its beams are to be placed between the Holies and the Holy of Holies, where the Aron and its Kapores covering is kept. The Shulchan/Table and Menorah are to be placed outside the Parochet curtain, the Shulchan/Table being positioned in the northern side and the Menorah on the southern side.
  1. The Masach screen in front of the Holies:
  • You shall make a screen for the entrance to the Ohel tent.
  • The material: It is to be made of Ticheiles Turquoise wool, Argamon Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an embroiderer.
  • The beams which hold the Masach screen: You shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia shittim wood which are covered with gold. The pillars are to contain golden hooks and contain five copper

 

Chapter 27

Sixth Aliyah

  1. The altar:
  • Material: The altar is to be made of acacia shittim wood.
  • Dimensions: It is to be made into a square, its length being five cubits, and its width also being five cubits. It is to be three cubits high. It is to be hollow.
  • Its particulars: It is to contain horns on each of its four corners, and [the horns and the entire altar] are to be covered with copper.
  • Its accessories: You shall make for it: Pots to remove its ashes, shovels, sprinkling basins, prongs, and fire-pans. It is all to be made of copper.
  • Its netting: A copper netting shall be made which encompasses the altar, and it is to have four copper rings placed on each of its four corners. The netting is to be placed under the band of the altar and is to reach half the height of the altar.
  • Its poles: You shall make poles of acacia shittim wood which are covered with copper. They are to be inserted into the rings and used to carry the altar.

Seventh Aliyah

  1. The courtyard:
  • You shall make a courtyard for the Tabernacle. It is to be made of curtains which are held up by pillars.
  • Material of the curtains: The curtains are to be made of twisted linen.
  • Dimensions: The length of the courtyard [i.e. the northern and southern side] is to be 100 cubits long. The width of the courtyard is to be 50 cubits wide. Its height is to be ten cubits. The curtain is to be 100 cubits in both the northern and southern side, and 50 cubits on the western side, however, on the eastern side it is to be only 15 cubits from each end.
  • The pillars: There are to be 20 pillars and 20 sockets for each side of the courtyard, for the northern and southern side. There are to be ten pillars and ten sockets for the western side. There are to be three pillars and sockets for each end of the eastern side, for a total of six. All the pillars are to contain silver hooks and belts. The sockets are to be made of copper.
  • The entrance to the courtyard: The gate of the courtyard is to contain a screen of twenty cubits. It is to be made of Ticheiles Turquoise wool, Argamon Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an embroiderer. It is to contain four pillars and four sockets.
  • Its accessories: The vessels needed to erect the courtyard, as well as its pegs, are to be made of copper.

Parashat Tetzaveh

Verses: 101 [Siman: מיכאל]

Haftorah: Ezekiel 43:10-27

Number of Mitzvot:

There are Seven Mitzvot in Parashat Tetzaveh. Four positive commands and three negative command.

 

A. Positive commands:

1. Mitzvah 98/Positive 40: To have candles constantly lit before G-d, in the Temple.

2. Mitzvah 99/Positive 41: For the Kohanim to wear their special garments while serving in the Temple.

3. Mitzvah 102/Positive 42: For the Kohanim to eat the Sacrifices.

4. Mitzvah 103/Positive 43: For the Kohanim to offer incense onto the altar twice daily.

 

B. Negative commands:

1. Mitzvah 100/Negative 59: Not to remove the breastplate from the apron.

2. Mitzvah 101/Negative 60: Not to tear the rim of the Meil.

3. Mitzvah 104/Negative 61: Not to offer onto the gold altar any offering other than the daily incense.

 

First Aliyah

  1. The Menorah oil and lighting:
  • Moses is told to command the Jewish people to bring him clear crushed olive oil for illuminating the Ner Tamid [i.e. the Menorah]. The Menorah is to be placed in the Tent of Meeting, outside the Parochet curtain. Aaron and his sons are to make sure it is lit from evening until morning for all generations.

Chapter 28

  1. Appointing Kohanim:
    • Moses is to bring near Aaron, and his sons, to become priests for G-d. Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Elazar and Isamar shall be priests.

 

  1. The Bigdei Kehuna-Preistly garments:
  • Make for Aaron, your brother, holy garments for glory. Speak with the wise, and they shall make the garments.
  • The following are the garments:
    • Choshen/Breastplate
    • Eiphid/Apron
    • Meil/robe
    • Kutones of checkered texture. [shirt]
    • Mitznefet/Turban
    • Avneit/belt
  • The material: The garments are to be made from gold, Ticheiles-Turquoise wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen.
  1. The apron:
  • The material: The apron is to be made from gold, Ticheiles-Turquoise wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an artist.
  • The shoulder straps: It is to contain two shoulder straps, one by each end. It is to have a belt which is likewise made of the same materials stated above.
  • The Shoham stones: You are to take two Shoham stones and engrave on them the name of the tribes, six on each stone, following their order of birth. The stones are to be inserted into gold settings. They are to be placed on the shoulder straps of the apron, one per strap, and Aaron is to wear them on his shoulders as a remembrance.

 

Second Aliyah

  • The gold chain: You shall make gold settings and two gold chains, and connect the chains to the settings.

 

  1. The Choshen Mishpat [breastplate]:
  • The material: The breastplate is to be made from gold, Ticheiles-Turquoise wool, Argamon- Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen.
  • Dimensions: The breastplate is to be square, folded, a Zeres its length and width.
  • Its stones: It is to be filled with four rows of stones. The first row is to contain the following stones: Odem, Pitdah, and Barekes. The second row: Nofech, Sapir, and Yahalom. The third row: Leshem, Shevo, and Achlamah. The fourth row: Tarshish, Shoham, and Yashfeh. The stones are to be placed within gold settings. They are to have the names of the tribes inscribed on them, one tribe per stone for a total of 12 tribes and stones.
  • The chains and rings that attach the breastplate to the apron: You shall make two gold chains on the breastplate. Make two gold rings, one for each edge of the [upper part of the] breastplate. The gold chains are to be inserted into these rings and are then to be attached to the gold settings of the apron [thus having the breastplate hang on the straps of the apron]. Make another two gold rings for the bottom corners of the breastplate, place them in the interior of the breastplate. Make two rings on the bottom end of the shoulder straps of the apron, symmetric to the bottom rings of the breastplate. Place a Techeiles-Turquoise woolen string through the two sets of rings, hence attaching the breastplate to the apron belt.
  • The breastplate is not to be moved from the apron, and in the Tabernacle, Aaron is to carry the names of the tribes over his chest as a remembrance before G-d
  • The Urim Vetumim: The Urim and Tumim [G-d’s Divine name] is to be inserted into the breastplate, and Aaron is to carry the judgment of the children of Israel constantly.

 

Third Aliyah

  1. The Meil robe:
    • The material: The Meil is to be made entirely from Ticheiles-Turquoise wool.
    • Its collar: The Meil is to contain a folded collar and it may not be torn.
  • Its bells: Its hem is to be surrounded with pomegranates made of Ticheiles-Turquoise wool, Argamon-Purple wool, and scarlet wool. It is also to contain gold bells all around it. When Aaron walks with it, the bells will make noise, announcing when he enters and exits the Holies so that he not die.
  1. The Tzitz/Golden band:
  • The Tzitz is to be made of pure gold and have engraved on it the words “Kodesh LaHashem.” It shall be placed on a Ticheiles-Turquoise wool string, and on the turban, by its front side. It shall be on Aaron’s forehead and he shall bring appeasement for all the sins involving Sacrifices of the Jewish people.
  1. The Kutoness shirt, Avneit belt, turban, and pants:
  • The material: The Kutones and turbans are to be made of checkered linen for both Aaron and his sons. The Avneit belt is to be made of embroidery.
  • The inauguration of the Kohanim: Aaron and his sons are to be inaugurated for the priesthood through dressing them in the above clothing and pouring on them the anointing oil.
  • The pants: You shall make linen pants for the Kohanim to cover their private area, from the hips to the thighs.
  • The Kohanim are to wear the priestly clothing when they serve in the Temple lest they die.

Chapter 29

Fourth Aliyah

  1. The inauguration procedure:
  • The following is to be done in order to sanctify the Kohanim to become priests for G-d:
  • The sacrifices and flour offerings: Take one bull, and two rams that are unblemished. Take Matzah bread and loaves that are smeared with oil and Matzah wafers smeared with oil. They are to be made of fine flour. They are all to be placed in one basket and brought together with the bull and two rams.
  • Bathing, dressing and anointing the Kohanim: You shall take Aaron and his sons to the opening of the Tent of Meeting, bathe them with water, and dress them. Aaron is to wear the Kutoness shirt, robe, apron, breastplate, turban, and Tzitz. You are to pour the anointing oil over them. The sons are to be dressed in the Kutoness shirt, the Avneit belt and turbans.
  • Sacrificing the Chatas bull offering: You shall bring the bull in front of the Tent of Meeting, and have Aaron and his sons lean on its head. It is to be slaughtered there. Take from its blood and place it on the corners of the altar using your fingers, and then pour the remaining blood on the base of the altar. You shall take all the fat that covers the intestine, and the diaphragm which is on the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, and offer it onto the altar. The meat of the bull and its waste is to be burnt in a fire outside of the camp. This offering is a Chatas
  • Sacrificing and offering the first ram Olah offering: You shall bring one ram and have Aaron and his sons lean on its head. It is then to be slaughtered. Take from its blood throw it around the altar. The ram is to be dismembered, and have its innards and feet washed, and then have it joined with its head. The entire ram is to be offered on the altar, as it is an Olah offering to G-d.

Fifth Aliyah

  • Sacrificing the second ram Shelamim offering: You shall bring the second ram and have Aaron and his sons lean on its head. It is then to be slaughtered. Take from its blood and place it on the edge of the right ear and right thumb of the hand and toe of Aaron and his sons. The remainder of the blood is to be poured around the altar.
  • Anointing the Kohanim with the oil and blood: You are to take the blood that was on the altar, and the anointing oil [Shemen Hamishcha], and sprinkle it on Aaron and his sons and their clothing, and they are to be sanctified.
  • Offering the parts of the second ram: You are to take the fat, and the tail and all the fat that covers the intestines and the diaphragm of the liver and the two kidneys, and the right thigh. Also, take one of each of the breads from the basket. Place it all together on the palm of Aaron and his sons and waive them before G-d. Then take the foods off the palm of their hands and offer them before G-d. Moses is to take the breast of the ram and waive it before G-d and it will remain a present to Moses from G-d.
  • The portion of the Kohanim in the Sacrifices: The breast and right thigh of the ram, as well as of all Sacrifices, are to be given to the Kohanim for all generations.
  • Wearing the priestly garments for inauguration: The Kohen is to wear the priestly garments for seven days as part of his inauguration [as the high priest].
  • Cooking and eating the meat of the 2nd ram: The meat of the ram is to be cooked in a holy place. The meat, as well as the bread in the basket, is to be eaten by Aaron and his sons and through doing so they will become inaugurated. A non-Kohen may not eat from it. Any meat and bread that is leftover past the morning, is to be burnt in a fire.
  • The number of times to perform the above procedure: The above procedure is to be done daily for seven days.
  • Cleansing the altar: The altar is to be cleansed and atoned by having the Chatas bull offering [described earlier] sacrificed on it for seven days. Doing so will make the altar holy, and anything that touches it will contract holiness.

Sixth Aliyah

  1. The Tamid offering:
  • The following offerings are to be brought daily onto the altar: Everyday two sheep within their first year are to be offered, one in the morning and the second in the evening. It is to be accompanied with a Mincha offering consisting of 1/10th of fine flour, mixed with a ¼ of a Hin of crushed oil. Its libation is to be a ¼ of a Hin, per sheep. This is to be done for all generations.
  1. The dwelling of the Shekhinah on the Tabernacle:
  • “I will meet with the Jewish people by the Tent of Meeting and be sanctified there through my honor. I will dwell amongst the Jewish people and be for them a G-d, and they will know that I am the G-d who took them out of Egypt in order to dwell with them.”

Chapter 30

Seventh Aliyah

  1. The gold altar for incense:
  • You shall make an altar for the incense offering.
  • The material: It is to be made of acacia-shittim wood.
  • Dimensions: It is to be made into a square, its length being one cubit, and its width also one cubit. It is to be two cubits high.
  • Its particulars: It is to contain horns on each of its four corners, and the horns, as well as the entire altar, is to be covered in gold. It is to have a gold crown surrounding it. Make for it two gold rings beneath its crown, one on each corner. These rings will serve to hold the poles with which the altar will be carried.
  • Its poles: You shall make poles of acacia-shittim wood which are covered with gold.
  • Location: The altar is to be placed in front of the Parochet curtain that is by the Aron.
  • Its use: Aaron is to offer incense on it daily each morning when the lamps are cleaned, and every afternoon when the lamps are kindled. One may not offer on it a foreign incense or an Olah or flour offering or wine libation. Aaron will atone on it once a year from the blood of the Chatas offering. The altar is a holy of holies to G-d.

Parashat Ki Tisa

Verses: 139 [Siman: חננאל]

Haftorah: Kings 1 18:20[1]-39

 

Number of Mitzvot:

There are Nine Mitzvot in Parashat Ki Tisa. Four positive commands and five negative command.

 

A. Positive commands:

1. Mitzvah 105/Positive 44: For every Jew above age twenty to donate a half Shekel.

2. Mitzvah 106/Positive 45: For the Kohanim to wash their hands and feet upon entering the Temple and serving G-d there.

3. Mitzvah 107/Positive 46: To make the anointing oil in the prescription given by the Torah.

4. Mitzvah 112/Positive 47: To stop working the land during Shemita/Sabbatical year.

 

B. Negative commands:

1. Mitzvah 108/Negative 62: Not to anoint with the anointing oil anyone other than a Kohen.

2. Mitzvah 109/Negative 63: Not to make a replica of the anointing oil.

3. Mitzvah 110/Negative 64: Not to make a replica of the incense.

4. Mitzvah 111/Negative 65: Not to eat from offerings given to idols.

5. Mitzvah 113/Negative 66: Not to eat meat and milk that were cooked together.

 

First Aliyah

  1. The census taking and Half Shekel donation:
    • G-d spoke to Moses saying: “When you take a census of the Jewish people, each man is to give G-d an atonement of his soul, in order so there should not be a plague amongst them when they are counted.”
    • What to give: All those who are counted are to give a half shekel of the holy shekel which is worth twenty Geira. It is a donation to G-d.
    • From what age: Everyone from twenty years and up is to give the donation to G-d to atone for their souls.
    • Its use: The money is to be used for the Temple service and be a remembrance for the Jewish people to atone for their souls.

 

  1. The Kiyor sink:
    • G-d spoke to Moses saying: You shall make a Kiyor sink and pedestal for washing. You are to fill it with water.
    • Material: The Kiyor and its pedestal is to be made of copper.
    • Location: It is to be placed between the Tent of Meeting and altar.
    • Its use to wash the hands and feet: The Kohanim are to use the Kiyor to wash their hands and feet upon entering the Tent of Meeting, or upon doing service on the altar. This needs to be done so they don’t die in their service.
  1. The Shemen Hamishcha/anointing oil:
    • The ingredients: G-d spoke to Moses saying: Take the following prime spices and make the anointing oil:
      1. Pure myrrh, 500 Shekel’s weight.
      2. Aromatic cinnamon, 250 shekel’s weight, brought twice [for a total of 500].
  • Cane of aromatic spice, 250 shekels weight
  1. The Kiddah root, 500 Shekel’s weight.
  2. A Hin of olive oil.
  • The above ingredients are to be mixed by a spice blender and be turned into a sacred anointing oil.
  • Its use-What is anointed with it: The Tent of Meeting and the Aron is to be anointed using this oil. Likewise, the Shulchan/Table, Menorah, gold and copper Altar, and all their accessory vessels are to be anointed with this oil. The Kiyor sink and its pedestal is to be anointed with this oil. Through doing so, the vessels will become holy and anything that touches them will become consecrated. Likewise, Aaron and his sons are to be anointed with this oil and they will thus become consecrated to serve me as Kohanim.
  • Not to use it or make a replica: Tell the Jewish people that no man may anoint himself with the above oil and no man may make a replica of the above oil. Anyone who makes a replica of it or who uses it on a non-Kohen, will be cut off from his nation [i.e. Kareis].
  1. The Ketores incense:
    • The ingredients: G-d spoke to Moses saying: “Take the following prime spices and make the Ketores:”
      1. Nataf/Stacte.
      2. Shecheiles/onycha.
  • Chelbana/galbanum
  1. Spices and pure frankincense.
  • All the above ingredients are to be of equal weight. The above ingredients are to be mixed by a spice blender and be turned into the Ketores incense. Some of it is to be finely ground, and some of it is to be placed before the Tent of Meeting. It shall be to you a holy of holies.
  • Not to make a replica: One may not create a replica of the Ketores incense for the sake of smelling it, under the penalty of excision.

Chapter 31

  1. Appointment of Betzalel to build the Tabernacle.
  • G-d spoke to Moses saying: “I have appointed Betzalel the son of Uri of the tribe of Judah to perform all the work of building the Tabernacle and its accessories. I have filled him with wisdom and understanding to perform all the work. I have appointed to work with him Ohaliav the son of Achisamach from the tribe of Dan. They are to make the Tent of Meeting, the Aron, the Kapores lid, the vessels of the Ohel, the Shulchan/Table, the Menorah, the Ketores altar, the Olah altar, the Kiyor sink, and all their accessories. They are to make the priestly garments, the anointing oil and Ketores, as I commanded.”
  1. Guard the Shabbat:
    • A covenant between us and G-d: G-d spoke to Moses saying: “Tell the Jewish people that they are to guard the Shabbat as it is a sign and covenant between Me and them for all generations so that they know that I am G-d who sanctifies you.”
    • Punishment for desecration: One who desecrates the Shabbat is liable for death and is liable for Kareis, to be cut off from the nation.
    • In commemoration of creation: One is to work six days and on the seventh day it is to be a complete rest, as in six days the world was created and on the seventh day I rested.

 

Second Aliyah

  1. The Tablets of Stone:
  • After G-d finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai He handed him the two stone Tablets which were written by the finger of G-d.

 

Chapter 32

  1. The sin of the Golden Calf:
    • Moses’s delayed return and the building of the golden calf: The nation saw that Moses delayed descending from the mountain and they gathered around Aaron telling him that they need to make a new G-d as a leader, as Moses’s whereabouts are unknown. Aaron told the nation to gather the gold jewelry worn on the ears of their wives and daughters and have it brought to him. The entire nation removed the golden jewelry that was on their ears and brought it to Aaron. Aaron took the gold from them and bound it in a scarf and made it into a molten calf.
    • The golden calf is worshipped: They saw the calf and proclaimed “Israel, these are your G-ds who took you out of Egypt. Aaron saw what was occurring and built an altar in front of the calf. Aaron then proclaimed that the next day would a be a festival for G-d. They arose early the next day and brought offerings on the altar. They sat to eat and drink and got up to sport.
    • Moses is informed by G-d of the sin: G-d spoke to Moses saying: Go descend from here as your nation who you took out of Egypt has sinned. They have quickly strayed from the path which I commanded them and have made a molten calf and prostrated themselves to it and sacrificed to it and said that it is the G-d who has taken them out of Egypt.
    • Moses pleads to G-d: G-d then told Moses that he has seen that the nation is a stubborn nation, and He desires to be left alone to destroy them, and then make a new nation from Moses. Moses pleaded to G-d not to do such a thing and cause the world to say that He took the Jewish people out of Egypt to destroy them. “Please relent from your anger and reconsider doing evil to the nation. Remember the promises you made to the forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” As a result of Moses’s pleas, G-d retracted from the evil He said He would do to the nation.
    • Moses descends with the Tablets of Stone: Moses descended from the mountain with the two Tablets of Stone in his hand. The Tablets of Stone were inscribed from both sides, from one end to the other, a writing of G-d.
    • Moses reaches the camp breaks the tablets and destroys the calf: Joshua heard shouting coming from the people and told Moses that the sound of battle is in the camp. Moses replied that it is the sound of blasphemy. When Moses came close and saw the golden calf and the dancing around it he became inflamed with anger and threw the Tablets of Stone, causing them to break on the bottom of the mountain. Moses took the calf that they made and burnt it in a fire, grinding it to dust and then scattering it on water. The Jewish people were given this water to drink.
    • Moses confronts Aaron: Moses asked Aaron what the nation did to him that brought him to cause such a grave sin. Aaron replied to Moses that he should not get angry with him, and Moses knows that the nation is in a bad state. “They told me to make a G-d, as they do not know the whereabouts of Moses. I simply asked them for gold and they gave it to me and I threw it into the fire and this golden calf rose up.” Moses saw that the nation was exposed, as Aaron had caused them to be uncovered in disgrace.
    • Moses has the idol worshipers killed: Moses stood at the head of camp and declared “Whoever is for G-d come to me.” All the Levites came to Moses. Moses instructed them, that G-d commanded that each person should take a sword to his thigh and pass through the gates and kill all the perpetrators, whether it be a friend or relative. The Levites did as Moses instructed and killed 3000 men. Moses then blessed them for doing so.
    • Moses returns to Heaven to achieve atonement: The next day, Moses told the nation that they have sinned a great sin and that he will try to ascend back to heaven to achieve atonement. Moses returned to G-d and told Him that the nation has sinned a very grave sin and made a gold idol. Moses then told G-d “If you would only forgive their sin, but if not, erase me from your book that You have written.” G-d replied that only the sinners will be erased from his book. G-d instructed Moses to go back and lead the people, and told him that an angel will go before them, and He will seek retribution for their sin at a future time of reckoning.
    • G-d smote the people who made the calf that Aaron made.

Chapter 33

  1. G-d informs Moses that He will not escort the Jewish people any longer:
  • G-d told Moses to go lead the nation to the promised land and that He will send His angel before them and drive out the Canaanite nations. I will not ascend with you, said G-d, as you are a stubborn nation and I may annihilate you on the way.
    • The nation removes their crown: When the nation heard this bad news, they mourned and did not place their crowns on their heads. G-d told Moses to explain to the people that Him going with them can lead to their annihilation due to their stubbornness. G-d instructed them to remove the crowns from their heads. The Jewish people thus lost the crowns they received on Mount Horeb.
  1. Moses distances his tent from the camp:
    • Moses took his tent and pitched it outside of the camp and called it the Tent of Meeting. Whoever seeks G-d would come to the Tent of Meeting outside of the camp. The nation would stand upon Moses leaving his tent and look at him until he returned. When Moses would arrive a pillar of cloud would descend upon it and speak to Moses. The nation would see the cloud by the entrance of the tent and they would bow down. G-d spoke to Moses face to face like a friend would speak to a friend and he would the return to the camp. Joshua Ben Nun would not leave the tent.

  Third Aliyah

  1. Moses pleads to G-d and G-d concedes:
  • Moses pleads to G-d to escort the people Himself: Moses told G-d that He had instructed him to lead the people but did not tell him who will escort them. “Now, You have said that I have found favor in your eyes. If this is true, then make Your ways known to me.”
  • G-d retracts from His decision and agrees to escort the Jewish people: G-d replied that He will no longer send His angel but that He Himself will escort them. Moses replied to G-d that if He will not go with them then they should not go onward, as this is the only way that they will know that they have found favor in His eyes, by G-d traveling with them and setting them apart from all the other nations of the world.

 

Fourth Aliyah

  1. G-d shows Moses His glory:
  • G-d responded to Moses that he will acquiesce likewise to the second request [of distinguishing the Jewish people from amongst the gentiles], as you have found favor in My eyes. Moses then asked G-d to be shown His glory. G-d replied that He will pass all His good before Him, although he cannot see His face, as no man can see G-d’s face and live. G-d told Moses that he [i.e. Moses] will stand by a cleft within a rock and He will place His hand over him, so he is not injured while His glory passes over. “When I remove My hand, you will see My back but not My face.”

Chapter 34

Fifth Aliyah

  1. Moses ascends with the second Tablets of Stone:
  • G-d instructed Moses to carve for himself two tablets, similar to the first ones, and G-d will write on it the words that were on the original Tablets of Stone that were broken. G-d told Moses to be ready in the morning and ascend Mount Sinai without any other person and wait for Him there. No man or animal shall be in the area.
  • Moses did as he was instructed and carved two tablets, rose in the morning and ascended the mountain with the two tablets. G-d descended in a cloud and stood with Moses who called His name.
  • The thirteen attributes of mercy: G-d then replied with saying the thirteen attributes of mercy, “G-d, G-d, Keil Rachum Vechanun Erech Apayim Verav Chesed Viemes, Notzer Chesed La’alafim, Nosei Avon Vapesha Vechatah Venakei” This means: G-d is a merciful G-d, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness. He preserves kindness for 200 years. Forgiver of sin, One who absolves but does not absolve completely. He remembers the sin of a father upon the children and grandchildren, up until the 4th
  • Moses hurried to bow to the ground and prostrated himself, asking G-d that if he finds favor in His eyes, let Him go with them and forgive their sin.

Sixth Aliyah

  • G-d agrees to distinguish the Jewish people: G-d replied that He will make a covenant that He will distinguish the Jewish people from the other nations of the land.
  1. List of Mitzvot:
  • Banishing the Canaanite nations and idolatry: G-d told Moses that He will drive the Canaanite nations from the land, and that Moses should beware not to make a treaty with them. You are to destroy their altars, statues, and trees of idolatry as G-d is a zealous G-d who will not stand for idolatry. If you make a covenant with these nations, you may be led astray and join them in their feasts of idolatry. You may come to intermarry, and it will cause your children to stray after their G-ds.
  • Do not make for yourselves molten G-ds.
  • Pesach: Guard the festival of Pesach for seven days and eat Matzot in the month of spring. Do not slaughter the Pesach lamb over Chametz, or leave its meat leftover until morning.
  • Firstborns: Every firstborn is Mine, the firstborn male of an ox or sheep. The firstborn donkey is to be redeemed with a sheep, or have its neck broken.
  • Pilgrimage: The Jewish people shall not come to see Me empty handed. They are to visit G-d three times a year. Their property will remain protected during their visit.
  • Shabbat: You are to work for six days and rest on Shabbat from plowing and harvesting.
  • Shavuot: You are to celebrate Shavuot during the time of the wheat harvest.
  • Bikurim: You are to bring first fruits to G-d.
  • Meat and milk: Do not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.

Seventh Aliyah

  • G-d told Moses to write the above words.
  1. Moses returns with the second Tablets of Stone and a shining face:
  • Moses was with G-d for 40 days and nights. He did not eat bread or drink water, and he wrote on the Tablets of Stone the ten commandments, the words of the covenant.
  • Moses descended the mountain with the two Tablets of Stone in his hand and he did not know that his face radiated due to that G-d spoke to him. The Jewish people saw the radiance on Moses’s face and they feared approaching him. Moses called them and they came and Moses commanded them all that he was told by G-d on Mount Sinai.
  • When Moses completed speaking with them, he placed a mask on his face. When Moses came to speak with G-d he would remove the mask until his departure, and then go command the Jewish people that which he was told. The Jewish people would see the radiance on Moses’s face. Moses would return the mask to his face until his next meeting with G-d.

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[1] So is followed by Sepharadi communities and Chabad. However, Ashkenazi communities begin reading from verse 18:1.

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