Summary of Numbers: Chapters 22-36

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Parashat Balak

Verses: 104 [Siman:מנוח ]

Haftorah: Micah 5:6-6:8

Number of Mitzvot:

There are no Mitzvot in Parashat Balak.

 

Chapter 22

First Aliyah

  1. Balak requests from Balaam to curse the Jewish people:
    • The meeting to discuss the threat: Balak the son of Tzippor, the king of Moab at that time, saw all that the Jewish people did to the other nations and Moab became very frightened of the Jewish people. Moab met with the elders of Midian and discussed the threat that “Now they will chew up our entire surroundings like the ox chews the vegetation of the field.
    • Hiring Balaam: He sent emissaries to Balaam the son of Beor to come curse the Jewish people. They told him that a nation has left Egypt and has covered the eye of the land and is now standing opposite me [i.e. Moab]. “Now, please come and curse this nation for me, as they are much more powerful than me, and perhaps I will be successful in driving them out, as I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whom you curse is cursed.” The emissaries arrived at the house of Balaam to deliver the request.

 

  1. The response of G-d to Balaam, and Balaam to Balak:
  • G-d instructs Balaam not to go: Balaam replied to the messengers that they should stay the night as he must discuss with G-d whether he may fulfill their request. G-d appeared to Balaam and inquired as to who the visitors were. Balaam replied that they are messengers of Balak, the king of Moab, who are asking from him to curse the nation who left Egypt. Upon hearing Balaam’s reply, G-d told him not to go with them and not to curse the Jewish people, as the Jewish people are blessed.

 

Second Aliyah (Fifth Aliyah when combined with Chukas)

  • In the morning Balaam told the messengers that they should return to Balak and tell him that he cannot go with them, as G-d does not allow him to go. The emissaries of Balak returned to him, and informed him that Balaam refuses to go with them.
  • Balak sends a second delegation: Balak sent a second, and more respected and dignified, delegation to try to convince Balaam to come. They told Balaam “So said Balak, do not refuse our request to come with us. I will honor you greatly, and whatever you tell me I shall do. Please just curse this nation.” Balaam once again replied to the delegation of Balak that even if they were to offer him Balak’s entire house filled with gold and silver he could not go against G-d’s instructions, for small or big. Balaam told also the second delegation to stay the night and see what G-d would reply.
  • G-d agrees to allow Balaam to go: G-d appeared to Balaam that night and told him that he may go, although he will only be able to speak the words that He places in his mouth.

 

Third Aliyah

  1. Balaam’s journey:
  • Balaam awoke in the morning and saddled his female donkey and traveled with the dignitaries of Moab.
  • The angel blocks Balaam’s path three times and he smites his donkey: G-d’s wrath boiled over the fact that Balaam was traveling to curse the Jews and He therefore positioned an angel with a drawn sword in front of the path that they were traveling. Upon the donkey seeing the angel of G-d with a drawn sword on the road, he circumvented it and went off the road, to the field. Balaam proceeded to hit the donkey to get her back on the road. Again, the angel stood in the path of the donkey by a path in the vineyard. The donkey, upon seeing the angel of G-d, went off to the side of the road which was gated and consequently crushed the foot of Balaam. Balaam once again hit the donkey. Again, the angel stood in the path of the donkey, but this time there was no room for the donkey to circumvent him. The donkey simply stopped and crouched down. Balaam hit the donkey in fury.
  • The donkey speaks: G-d suddenly opened the mouth of the donkey and she began to speak, rebuking Balaam for hitting her. “What have I done to you that you hit me three times?” Balaam replied, “You mocked me; if only I had a sword I would kill you.” The donkey replied “Am I not your donkey that you have ridden from your inception until this day. Have I ever done this to you?” And Balaam replied “No.”
  • G-d reveals the angel: G-d then opened Blaam’s eyes and he saw the angel with the drawn sword standing on the road. Balaam prostrated himself before him. The angel of G-d chastised Balaam for hitting his donkey three times, telling Balaam that he had stood in the donkey’s way as an impediment, and the donkey saved his life by swerving away. If the donkey would not have swerved away, I would have killed you and let it live. Balaam replied to the angel that he has sinned, and he did not know that the angle was in the way. “Now, if you do not desire me to go then I will turn back.” The angel replied that he may go, although he will only be able to speak the words that he places in his mouth. Balaam continued his travels with the delegation of Balak.

  1. Balaam arrives:
  • Balak heard of Balaam’s imminent arrival and he went to greet him by the border of Arnon. Balak asked Balaam why he had refused to come until now, to which Balaam replied that he is limited and cannot speak anything that G-d does not place in his mouth.

Fourth Aliyah (Sixth Aliyah when combined with Chukas)

  • The tour and meal: Balak takes Balaam [on a tour of Moab to] Kiryat Chutzos. Balak sacrificed cattle and flock and sent it to Balaam and the dignitaries [to eat].

 

Chapter 23

  1. Balaam’s first attempt to curse turns to blessings:
    • The next morning: In the morning, Balak took Balaam to a cliff and looked at the Jewish encampment from there.
    • The sacrifices: Balaam instructed Balak to build seven altars and bring seven cows and seven rams as sacrifices. Balak did as he was instructed and offered the animals on the altar. Balaam told Balak to stand ground by the altar while Balaam goes to meet with G-d to see if he can curse the Jewish people. G-d appeared to Balaam and Balaam told Him that he has prepared seven altars and offered bulls and rams. G-d placed words in the mouth of Balaam and instructed him to relate the message to Balak. Balaam returned to Balak and the Moabite dignitaries and told them as follows:
    • The blessing: “Balak instructed me to curse the Jewish people, but I cannot curse a people who G-d has not cursed and has not gotten angry with.”
    • “They are a nation that we see from the hilltops; they dwell alone and are not counted amongst the other nations.”
    • “Who can count the dust of Jacob and Israel, and may I die a death like theirs.”
    • Balak’s response: Balak admonished Balaam for blessing the Jewish people instead of cursing them. Balaam replied that he already forewarned Balak that he must say what G-d tells him.

 

Fifth Aliyah

  1. Balaam’s second attempt to curse turns into blessings:
    • Balak took Balaam to a second area from which only part of the Jewish people could be seen, to try to curse the Jewish people from there.
    • The sacrifices: They built seven altars and offered a cow and ram as a sacrifice on the altar. Balaam told Balak to stand guard by the altar while Balaam goes to meet with G-d to see if he can curse the Jewish people. G-d places the following words in the mouth of Balaam and instructed him to relate the message to Balak:
    • The blessing: Balaam returned to Balak and the Moabite dignitaries and was asked by Balak as to what G-d told him. Balaam told Balak to stand while he relays the prophesy:
    • “G-d is not a man who speaks lies and that regrets what He says. If He says something, He will fulfill it. G-d blessed the Jewish people, and He will not retract it”
    • “He does not see sin in Jacob, or iniquity in Israel”
    • “He took them out of Egypt”
    • “There is no sorcery in Jacob or Israel, and He tells them what they need to know”
    • “They are a nation that wake up like a lioness, and do not sleep until they eat their spoils and drink the blood of the slain.”
    • Balak’s response: Balak admonished Balaam for blessing the Jewish people instead of cursing them and tells him that if he can’t curse them then at the very least he should not bless them. Balaam replied that he already forewarned Balak that he must say what G-d tells him.

 

Sixth Aliyah (Seventh Aliyah when combined with Chukas)

  1. Balaam’s third set of blessings:
    • Balak took Balaam to a third area from which to try to curse the Jewish people from there. Balak took Balaam to the area called Rosh Peor.
    • The sacrifices: Balaam instructed Balak to build seven altars and bring seven cows and rams as sacrifices. Balak did as he was instructed and offered the sacrifices on the altar. Balaam saw that G-d desires to bless the Jewish people and therefore did not go as he did the previous times, and he faced the desert. Balaam saw the Jewish people’s encampment in accordance to tribe and he received the spirit of G-d and began his third set of blessings:
    • The blessings: “Says the man with the closed eye, the one who hears the words of G-d and sees Him, falling to ground.”
    • “How good are the tents of Jacob, the dwelling places of Israel. They are like streams and gardens and like cedars by water. Water flows from his buckets and his seed is abundant.”
    • “His king will be exalted over Agag.”
    • “G-d, who took them out of Egypt will consume their enemies, and their bones He will break and take His portion from the spoils.”
    • “They lie like a lion and like a lioness, who can stand them up.”
    • “Those who bless them are blessed and those who curse them are cursed.”
    • Balak’s response: Balak became enraged with Balaam and clapped his hands and told him “I brought you to curse my enemies and instead you blessed them three times. Now, get out of here and go back to your place. I said I would honor you, but I see G-d has withheld your honor.” Balaam replied that he already forewarned Balak and his messengers that he must say what G-d tells him, and that even if he offers him his house filled with gold and silver he cannot transgress the word of G-d for good or for bad.

 

Chapter 24

Seventh Aliyah

  1. Balaam’s fourth set of blessings and prophecy:
    • Prior to his departure, Balaam advised Balak as to what the Jewish people will do to Moab in the end of days.
    • Balaam prophesized and said: “Says the man with the closed eye, the one who hears the words of G-d and knows the knowledge of High falling to ground”
    • “I will see it but not now. A star will sprout from Jacob and a staff from Israel who will destroy Moab and the children of Seth.”
    • “Edom and Seir will conquer and their wealth will be inherited by Israel.”
    • He saw Amalek and stated, “The first of the nations is Amalek and at the end they will be obliterated.”
    • He saw the Keni and he said “How strong is your position, and your nest rests on a rock”
    • “Ashur will capture you.”
    • “Woe, who will live from the decrees of G-d.”
    • “The Kitim/Romans and Ashur will be forever destroyed.”
    • Balaam goes home: Balaam got up and returned home and also Balak went on his way.

Chapter 25

  1. The sin with the daughters of Moab:
    • The sin: The Jewish people settled in Shitim and were promiscuous with the daughters of Moab. They participated in sacrifices to idolatry and they ate and prostrated to the idols. They attached to the idolatry of Peor and G-d became very angry with Israel.
    • Capital punishment: G-d told Moses to gather the leaders and have the violators hung in front of the sun and then His wrath will be extinguished from the Jewish people. Moses instructed the leaders to kill those who attached to Peor,
    • Zimri and Cozbi: There was a certain man who approached Moses and the entire congregation with a Midianite woman while the children of Israel were crying in their tent. Pinchas the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron Hakohen took a spear in his hand and speared the man and the woman in their private areas and the plague ended.
    • Total number of dead in plague: There were 24,000 people who died in that plague.

 

Parashat Pinchas

Verses: 168 [Siman:לחלק]

Haftorah: Kings 1 18:46-19:21

 

Number of Mitzvot:

There are a total of six Mitzvot in Parashat Pinchas; Six positive commands and Zero negative commands. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.

 

A. Positive:

  1. Mitzvah 400/Positive 163: To abide by the laws of inheritance.
  2. Mitzvah 401/Positive 164: To offer the Tamid offering daily, twice a day.
  3. Mitzvah 402/Positive 165: To offer a Musaf sacrifice of two lambs every Shabbat.
  4. Mitzvah 403/Positive 166: To offer a Musaf sacrifice of two cows, one ram, and seven lambs, every Rosh Chodesh.
  5. Mitzvah 404/Positive 167: To offer a Musaf sacrifice on Shavuot.
  6. Mitzvah 405/Positive 168: To hear the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

First Aliyah

  1. Pinchas is blessed with priesthood:
    • G-d said: The vengeance Pinchas took [against Zimri and Cozbi] has calmed my anger and prevented me from destroying the Jewish people in my vengeance. In reward for the above act, Pinchas is granted a covenant of eternal Kehuna/priesthood for him and all his offspring.
    • The identification of those slain by Pinchas: The name of the slain Israelite who was slain together with the Midianite woman was Zimri the son of Salu, the head of the tribe of Simeon. The name of the woman was Cozbi the daughter of Tzur, who was the head of the people of Midian.

 

  1. Moses is commanded to take vengeance against the Midianites:
    • G-d commanded Moses to antagonize the Midianites and destroy them for conspiring against the children of Israel and causing them to stumble with Baal Peor and with Cozbi.

Chapter 26

  1. The Jewish people are counted for the census:
    • After the plague, G-d asked Moses and Elazar to take a census of the Jewish people. Every [male] person of recruitment age, above age twenty, was counted.

  

Second Aliyah

  • Reuben:
    • Family descendants: Hanoch; Pallu; Chetzron; Carmi
    • Population: 43,730
    • Datan and Abiram-sin of Korach: Palu had a son named Eliav who had three sons named Nemuel, Datan and Abiram. This is the same Datan and Abiram who were part of the rebel group led by Korach and were killed by being miraculously swallowed in the ground together with Korach. The other 250 men were consumed by fire. The children of Korach did not die.

  • Simeon:
    • Family descendants: Nemuel; Yamin; Yachin; Zerach; Shaul
    • Population: 22,200

  • Gad:
    • Family descendants: Tzefon; Chagi; Shuni; Ozni; Eri; Arod; Areili
    • Population: 40,500

  • Judah:
    • Family descendants-Died: Er; Onen who died
    • Family descendants: Sheila; Peretz; Zerach; Chetzron; Chamul
    • Population: 76,500

  • Issachar:
    • Family descendants: Tola; Puvah; Yashuv; Shimron
    • Population: 64,300

  • Zebulun:
    • Family descendants: Sered; Eilon; Yachliel
    • Population: 60,500

  • Joseph-Manasseh:
    • Family descendants: Machir; Gilad; Iezer; Chelek; Asriel; Shechem; Shemida; Chefer; Tzelafchad
    • Tzelafchad did not have sons. His daughters were named Machla; Noah; Choglah; Milkah; Tirtzah
    • Population: 52,700

  • Joseph-Ephraim:
    • Family descendants: Shuselach; Becher; Tachan; Eran
    • Population: 32,500

  • Benjamin:
    • Family descendants: Bela; Ashbel; Ahiram; Shefufam; Chufam; Ard; Naaman
    • Population: 45,600

  • Dan:
    • Family descendants: Shucham
    • Population: 64,400

  • Asher:
    • Family descendants: Yimna; Yishvi; Beriah; Chever; Malkiel. The daughter of Asher was Serach.
    • Population: 53,400

  • Naftali:
    • Family descendants: Yachtziel; Guni; Yeitzer; Shillem
    • Population: 45,400
  • Total population: 601,730 [and 57 families]

Third Aliyah

  1. The fashion in which the land of Israel will be divided:
    • The land is to be inherited according to the population [of each tribe or family]. Those of larger population are to receive a larger area, and those of smaller population are to receive a smaller area. The land will be divided based on raffle, in accordance to the tribes/families.

  1. The tribe of Levi is counted:
    • Family descendants: Gershon; Kehot; Merari; Libni; Hebroni; Machli; Mushi; Karchi. Kehot had Amram, who had Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Aaron had Nadab, Abihu, Elazar and Isamar. Nadab and Abihu died before G-d when they brought a foreign fire.
    • Population: 23,000 males from the age of one month
    • The tribe of Levi was not counted together with the rest of the Jewish people, as they do not receive an inheritance.
      • The above population did not include any of the people from the census that was taken in the desert [prior to the sin of the Meraglim], as they all died in the desert, with exception to Kaleb and Joshua.

Chapter 27

  1. The daughters of Tzelafchad
  • The daughters of Tzelafchad approached Moses, Elazar, the leaders, and the entire congregation by the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and inquired as to why they will not be receiving an inheritance of land on behalf of their father. Their father did not die as a result of the sin of Korach and rather died due to his own sin, and he did not leave any sons. They demanded to receive their father’s portion of inheritance in place of a son.
  • Moses brought their claim before G-d.

 

Fourth Aliyah

  • G-d spoke to Moses saying that the daughters of Tzelafchad are correct and that they are to receive the inheritance from their father.

  1. Laws of inheritance:
    • No son: When a man dies and does not leave a son, the inheritance is to go to the daughter.
    • No daughter: If he does not have a daughter, the inheritance is to go to the deceased’s [father, and if his father is not alive then it is to go to his] brothers.
    • No brother: If he does not have a brother, the inheritance is to go to the deceased’s [grandfather and if his grandfather is not alive then it is to go to his] uncle from his father.
    • No uncle: If he does not have an uncle from his father, the inheritance is to go to his closest relative.

  1. Moses looks at the land of Israel:
    • Moses is told by G-d to ascend Mount Havarim and look at the view of Israel. Moses is told that he will pass away as did Aaron his brother and will not enter Israel due to the sin committed by Mei Meriva.

 

  1. Joshua is appointed leader after Moses:
    • Moses asks G-d to appoint someone over the Jewish people after his passing, so they are not like sheep without a shepherd. G-d told Moses to take Joshua Ben Nun and lean his hands on him and appoint him as leader in front of Elazar and in front of all the Jewish people. You shall place your splendor onto him, so that all the children of Israel will listen to him. Joshua shall stand before Elazar the Kohen and ask him through the Urim Vetumim, and according to his reply they shall follow.
    • Moses did as he was instructed by G-d and positioned Joshua before Elazar the Kohen, and before the entire congregation, and he leaned his hands on him.

 

Chapter 28

Fifth Aliyah

  1. The Tamid sacrifice:
    • G-d told Moses to command the children of Israel and tell them to offer two male lambs, every day as a Tamid sacrifice. One sacrifice is to be offered in the morning and the second in the afternoon.
    • The Mincha and Nesachim: A Mincha offering of 1/10th of an Ephah of flour mixed with ¼ of a Hin of oil is to be brought with the animal. A wine libation of ¼ of a Hin is to be brought per lamb.

  1. The Shabbat sacrifice:
    • On Shabbat you are to offer two male lambs in their first year of age.
    • The Mincha and Nesachim: A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought with the animal. A wine libation is to be brought with the animal.
    • This is in addition to the Tamid sacrifice.

  1. The Rosh Chodesh sacrifice:
    • On Rosh Chodesh you are to offer two young bulls, one ram, and seven unblemished lambs within their first year. One goat is to be offered as a Chatas for G-d. This sacrifice is in addition to the Tamid sacrifice.
    • The Mincha and Nesachim: A Mincha offering of 3/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each bull. A wine libation of 1/2 of a Hin is to be brought for the bull. A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the ram. A wine libation of 1/3 of a Hin is to be brought for the ram. A Mincha offering of 1/10th of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each lamb. A wine libation of 1/4 of a Hin is to be brought per lamb.

Sixth Aliyah

  1. The festival of Pesach:
    • The date: On the 14th day of the 1st month is a Pesach for G-d. On the 15th day of the month is a festival. One is to eat Matzah for seven days.
    • Labor: One is not to do labor on the first day and seventh day.
    • The Sacrifices: On each of the seven days of Pesach you are to offer as an Olah two young bulls, one ram and seven unblemished male lambs within their first year. One goat is to be offered as a Chatas to atone for you. This sacrifice is in addition to the Tamid sacrifice.
    • The Mincha: A Mincha offering of 3/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each bull. A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the ram. A Mincha offering of 1/10th of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each sheep. A wine libation is to be brought individually with the animal.

  1. The festival of Shavuot:
    • On the day of the Bikurim, First Fruits, when the new Mincha offering is brought, one is not to do labor.
    • The offering: On Shavuot you are to offer as an Olah offering two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs within their first year. One male goat is to be offered as a Chatas to atone for you. This sacrifice is in addition to the Tamid sacrifice.
    • The Mincha: A Mincha offering of 3/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each bull. A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the ram. A Mincha offering of 1/10th of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each lamb. A wine libation is to be brought individually with the animal.

 

Chapter 29

  1. Rosh Hashanah
    • On the 1st day of the seventh month one is not to do labor. It is a day of Shofar blowing for you.
    • The Sacrifices: On Rosh Hashanah you are to offer as an Olah offering one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs within their first year. One male goat is to be offered as a Chatas to atone for you. This sacrifice is in addition to the Rosh Chodesh and Tamid sacrifice.
    • The Mincha: A Mincha offering of 3/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the bull. A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the ram. A Mincha offering of 1/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each lamb. A wine libation is to be brought individually with the animal.

  1. Yom Kippur
    • On the 10th day of the seventh month one is to oppress his soul and is not to do labor.
    • The Sacrifices: On Yom Kippur you are to offer as an Olah offering one young bull, one ram, and seven male lambs. One goat is to be offered as a Chatas. This is in addition to the Yom Kippur Chatas and Tamid sacrifice.
    • The Mincha: A Mincha offering of 3/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the bull. A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for the ram. A Mincha offering of 1/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each lamb. A wine libation is to be brought individually with the animal.

 

Seventh Aliyah

  1. The festival of Sukkot:
    • On the 15th day of the seventh month one is not to do labor. One is to celebrate a festival for G-d for seven days.
    • The Sacrifices: On Sukkot, on the first day you are to offer as an Olah offering 13 young bulls, 2 rams and 14 male lambs in their first year. On the second day of Sukkot you are to offer as an Olah offering 12 bulls, 2 rams and 14 male lambs in their first year and so on and so forth each day of Sukkot diminishing one cow, until on the seventh day of Sukkot you offer 7 young bulls, 2 rams and 14 male lambs in their first year. On each day one he-goat is to be offered as a Chatas. This is in addition to the daily Tamid sacrifice.
    • The Mincha: A Mincha offering of 3/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each of the bulls. A Mincha offering of 2/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each of the two rams. A Mincha offering of 1/10ths of an Ephah of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each of the 14 lambs. A wine libation is to be brought individually with the animal.

  1. Shemini Atzeres:
    • On the 8th day one is not to do labor.
    • The offering: On Shemini Atzeres, one is to offer as an Olah offering one cow, one ram and seven unblemished male lambs within their first year.
    • The Mincha: A Mincha offering of flour mixed with oil is to be brought individually for each animal. A wine libation is to be brought individually with the animal. One goat is to be offered as a Chatas. This is in addition to the Tamid sacrifice.

  

Parashat Matot

Verses: 112 [Siman:בקי ]

Haftorah: Jerimiah 1:1-2:3

 

Number of Mitzvot:

There are a total of two Mitzvot in Parashat Matot; One positive command and One negative command. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.

 

A. Positive:

  1. Mitzvah 406/Positive 169: Annulling vows.

B. Negative:

1. Mitzvah 407/Negative 239: Not to transgress a vow.

 

 

Chapter 30

First Aliyah

  1. The laws of vows:
    • G-d spoke to Moses 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 G-d 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 G-d 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 G-d will forgive her.
    • A single woman: The vow of a [single woman such as a] widow or divorcee stands valid.

 

Chapter 31

Second Aliyah

  1. The children of Israel wage war against Midian:
    • G-d spoke to Moses saying that he should take vengeance against Midian and he will then pass on. Moses 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 Moses and Elazar.

 

Third Aliyah (Second Aliyah when combined with Maasei)

  • Moses is enraged that the females survived: Moses, Elazar and the tribal leaders came to greet the soldiers outside of the camp. Moses 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 the children of Israel when they seduced them according to the advice of Balaam.
  • Killing the captives: Moses commanded them to kill all male children and all the women who have reached age of marriage. The remaining females were taken as captives.

  1. The laws of impurity to a corpse:
    • Moses 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.

 

  1. Laws of Kashering:
  • Elazar the son of Aaron told the children of Israel 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.

 

Fourth Aliyah

  1. The spoils are distributed:
    • G-d told Moses 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. the children of Israel are to give a tax to the Levites which consists of 1:50 of every human and animal captured.
    • Moses and Elazar did as G-d 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. G-d’s tax from the soldier’s spoils was: 675 sheep; 72 cattle; 61 donkeys; 32 women.

Fifth Aliyah

  • The Jewish people received 337,500 sheep; 36,000 cattle; 30,500 donkeys; 16,000 women.
  • Moses gave the tax from the children of Israel’s spoils to the Levites.
  • The commanders give a donation: The commanders of the soldiers approached Moses and told him that no soldier was killed in the war and they therefore have brought Moses a present of gold vessels for atonement. The present consisted of gold vessels, anklets and bracelets, earrings, and Kumaz. Moses took the vessels and gave them to Elazar Hakohen to place in the Tent of Meeting as a remembrance.

 

Chapter 32

Sixth Aliyah (Third Aliyah when combined with Maasei)

  1. The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben receive the land of Og and Sihon:
    • The request: The sons of Reuben 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 Moses, Elazar, and the tribal leaders and asked to receive this land in exchange for the land that is across the Jordon.
    • Moses’s reply and the subsequent agreement: Moses replied to the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben by criticizing them for their request, saying they are discouraging the children of Israel from wanting to enter Israel and are repeating the mistake of the Meraglim. They replied to Moses saying that they will build cities for their families and animals and then wage war with the rest of the children of Israel in Israel. Furthermore, they will be on the front lines of the battle and will not return home until all the children of Israel have inherited their land.

 

Seventh Aliyah (Fourth Aliyah when combined with Maasei)

  • Moses replied that if they fulfill these conditions then he agrees to give them the land. Moses told over the above agreement to Elazar and Joshua and the heads of the tribes.
  • The land is given: Moses then gave the sons of Gad, The sons of Reuben and half of Manasseh a portion in the area past the Jordon, the land of Og and Sihon. The sons of Gad and Reuben built cities there.
  • The sons of Machir, from the tribe of Manasseh, waged war against the Amorite city of Gilead and captured it. Moses consequently granted the city to Machir.
  • Yair the son of Manasseh captured other cities, which he named “villages of Yair.” Novach captured Kenas and named it in his name, Novach.

 

Parashat Maasei

Verses: 132 [Siman:מחלה חולה ]

Haftorah: Jerimiah 2:4-28; 4:1-2[1]

 

Number of Mitzvot:

There are a total of Six Mitzvot in Parashat Maasei; Two positive commands and Four negative commands. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.

 

A. Positive:

1. Mitzvah 408/Positive 171: To distribute cities to the Levites and that they are to serve as cities of refuge.

2. Mitzvah 409/Positive 172: To send to a city of refuge one who killed Beshogeg-by accident.

 

B. Negative:

1. Mitzvah 410/Negative 238: Not to kill one who is liable for death until he is brought to court.

2. Mitzvah 411/Negative 239: The prohibition for a witness to also act as a judge in the case.

3. Mitzvah 412/Negative 240: Not to take a ransom to exempt a murderer from being killed.

4. Mitzvah 413/Negative 241: Not to take a ransom to exempt an accidental murderer from being exiled.

Chapter 33

First Aliyah

  1. The Travels of the children of Israel:
    • These are the travels of the Jewish people from Egypt, under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses wrote of the travels of the children of Israel.
    • On the 15th of the 1st month, the children of Israel left Rameses/Egypt in the presence of all the Egyptians. The Egyptians were busy burying their dead while the Jews were leaving. G-d also punished their gods during this time.
    • Next, they traveled to Sukkot.
    • Next, they traveled to Eisam in the edge of the desert.
    • Next, they traveled to Pi Hachiros.
    • Next, they traveled a journey of three days to Marah.
    • Next, they traveled to Elim which had 12 fountains of water and 70 date palms.
    • Next, they traveled to Sea of Reeds.

 

Second Aliyah (according to most Chumashim)

  • Next, they traveled to the desert of Sin.
  • Next, they traveled to Dophkah.
  • Next, they traveled to Alush.
  • Next, they traveled to Rephidim, and there was no water to drink.
  • Next, they traveled to the desert of Sinai.
  • Next, they traveled to Kivros Hataavah.
  • Next, they traveled to Chatzeros.
  • Next, they traveled to Rithmah.
  • Next, they traveled to Rimmon Peretz.
  • Next, they traveled to Livnah.
  • Next, they traveled to Rissah.
  • Next, they traveled to Kehelasah.
  • Next, they traveled to Mount Shafer.
  • Next, they traveled to Charadah.
  • Next, they traveled to Makhelos.
  • Next, they traveled to Tachas.
  • Next, they traveled to Terach.
  • Next, they traveled to Mithkah.
  • Next, they traveled to Chashmonah.
  • Next, they traveled to Moseiros.
  • Next, they traveled to Benei Yaakan.
  • Next, they traveled to Chor Hagidgad.
  • Next, they traveled to Yatvasah.
  • Next, they traveled to Avronah.
  • Next, they traveled to Etzion Gaver.
  • Next, they traveled to Kadesh-the desert of Tzin.
  • Next, they traveled to Mount Hahor, which is at the end of the land of Edom.
  • The death of Aaron: Aaron ascended Mount Hahor and passed away in the 40th year on the first of the 5th Aaron was 123 years old at his death. The king of Arad from Canaan heard of Aarons death.
  • Next, they traveled to Tzalmonah.
  • Next, they traveled to Punon.
  • Next, they traveled to Ovos.
  • Next, they traveled to Iyei Haavarim on the border of Moab.
  • Next, they traveled to Divon Gad.
  • Next, they traveled to Almon Divlasaimah.
  • Next, they traveled to Harei Haavarim.
  • Next, they traveled to Arvos Moab, by the Jordon at Jericho. They encamped by the Jordon from Beit Hayeshimos until Avel Shittim

 

Second Aliyah (according to Torah Temima/Chabad) Third Aliyah (according to most Chumashim) (Fifth Aliyah when combined with Matos)

 

  1. Commands associated with the conquer of Israel:
    • G-d instructed Moses to command the children of Israel that upon entering Israel and conquering the nations they are to destroy all their temples, all their idols and their accessories. All the inhabitant nations are to be driven out of the land.

Third Aliyah (according to Torah Temima/Chabad)

  • Inheritance: The portions of inheritance of the land are to be distributed through a raffle system. To the many you shall increase the inheritance while to the few you are to decrease. Wherever the lot shall fall for the individual, that is where he will inherit.
  • The dangers of not driving out the nations: If you do not drive out the gentile inhabitants, they will harass you and cause you anguish and suffering, and I will do to you that which I intended to do to them.

Chapter 34

  1. The borders of Israel:
    • G-d spoke to Moses saying that he is to command the Jewish people of the borders of Israel.
    • Southern border: The southeast border is at the edge of the Dead Sea and the desert of Tzin. The border is to stretch to Maaleh Akrabbim and Kadesh Barneia and from Atzmon to Nachalas Egypt, which is the southwest border.
    • Western border: The western border is the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Northern border: The northwest border is Mount Hahar. The northern border is to stretch to Chamas towards Tzedad. The border is from Zifronto Chatzar Einan.
    • Eastern border: The eastern border begins with Shafam to Rivlah, till the Kinneret. The border descends to the Jordan River, till the edge of the Dead Sea.
    • Moses commanded the children of Israel that the above borders of land are to be distributed to the 9 1/2 tribes, excluding the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh, who already took their portion on the eastern side of the Jordon.

 

Fourth Aliyah (Sixth Aliyah when combined with Matos)

  1. The people inheriting the land:
    • G-d spoke to Moses saying that the following are the names of those who will be inheriting the land to the Jewish people: Elazar Hakohen and Joshua Ben Nun and one leader per tribe is to inherit the land for their tribe. The following are the names of the tribal leaders.
      • The tribe of Judah: Kaleb Ben Yefuneh
      • The tribe of Simeon: Samuel Ben Amihud
      • The tribe of Benjamin: Elidad Ben Kislon
      • The tribe of Dan: Bukki Ben Yogli
      • The tribe of Manasseh: Channiel Ben apron
      • The tribe of Ephraim: Kemual Ben Shiftan
      • The tribe of Zebulun: Elitzafan Ben Parnach
      • The tribe of Issachar: Paltiel Ben Azzan
      • The tribe of Asher: Achihud Ben Shelomi
      • The tribe of Naftali: Padahel Ben Ammihud

Chapter 35

Fifth Aliyah

  1. The cities of the Levites:
    • G-d spoke to Moses by the Jordan saying that he is to command the children of Israel to distribute cities to the Levites from amongst their inheritance of land.
    • The space surrounding the cities: The Levite cities are to contain an open space of 1000 cubits surrounding their cities to be designated for their animals and property. The city is to have a total of 2000 cubits of open space surrounding it, [the first thousand as a Migrash and the second for their fields and vineyards].
    • The cities of refuge: The Levites are to receive six cities of refuge for murderers to seek refuge in, and 42 cities for them to dwell in, for a total of 48 cities.
    • From whose property are the Levite cities appropriated: Those tribes who have a larger portion of land are to allocate from within their property more cities to the Levites, while those tribes who have a smaller portion of land are to give them less cities.

 

Sixth Aliyah (Seventh Aliyah when combined with Matos)

  1. The cities of refuge:
    • G-d spoke to Moses saying that he is to command the children of Israel that upon then passing the Jordan towards the land of Canaan they are to designate cities of refuge for one guilty of unintentional manslaughter. The cities will be used by the murderer as a refuge from the relative of the victim. The murderer is not to be killed until he has a court case.
    • Amount and locations: There are to be six cities of refuge. Three of the cities are to be in Israel and the other three past the Jordan river. They are to be a city of refuge for all accidental murderers, whether a Jew or a convert.
    • An intentional or unintentional murderer: If the murderer intentionally or premeditatedly killed someone using a metal object, or a stone object, or a wooden object, then he is to be put to death. The Goal Hadam [relative of the victim] is to kill the murderer. If, however, the murderer killed him without intent and he is not his enemy, then the assembly shall judge between him and the relatives and save him from being killed by the relatives. They are to escort him to the city of refuge.
    • The conditions of the cities of refuge: The accidental murderer is to remain in the city of refuge until the anointed Kohen Gadol passes away. If the murderer leaves the city of refuge, he has given up his blood and may be killed by the Goal Hadam (avenger).
    • Laws of a murder trials: A single witness may not be used as testimony to kill a murderer. One may not take a ransom from the murderer to save him from punishment of death or cities of refuge. “Do not corrupt and defile the land that I dwell in by not giving due punishment to the murderers, as the land will not have atonement for the spilled blood. I am G-d who dwells amongst the Jewish people.”

Chapter 36

Seventh Aliyah

  1. The marriage of the daughters of Tzelafchad:
    • The family of Gilead, son of Machir, who is the son of Manasseh, approached Moses complaining that the lands inherited by the daughters of Tzelafchad will be inherited by their husbands and consequently leave our tribe. G-d agreed with their complaint and Moses thus commanded the daughters of Tzelafchad to marry within their tribe. He also commanded all the Jewish people that all female heirs may only marry into their tribe in order to prevent a family heritage from falling into the hands of other tribes.
    • The daughters of Tzelafchad; Machlah, Tirtzah, Chaglah, Milcah, and Noah did as they were instructed and married their cousins from the tribe of Manasseh.

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[1] So is followed by Sepharadi and Chabad communities. However, Ashkenazi communities do not read these two verses and rather add verse 3:4.

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