Massei: Don't Forget the Details

July 21, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And the Egyptians were burying all their first born, who had been killed by G-d” (Bamidbar 33:4).   Occupied with grief and despair, the Egyptians watched—apparently in silence—as their former slaves “left triumphantly before the eyes of all the Egyptians” (Bamidbar 33:3). Interestingly, neither the frantic burials nor the triumphant departure of the Jewish people is mentioned in Parshat Bo,...
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Mattot-Massei: On the Same Page

August 05, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
When the eighth day of Pesach falls on Shabbat, those of us living outside of Israel lain the special Torah reading for Yom Tov Sheni[1], while those in Israel read parshat Acharei Mot; and it is only when we conclude sefer Bamidbar more than three months later that the kriat haTorah will be unified throughout the world[2]. That such a split happens on that first Shabbat after Pesach is unavoidable. Yet the...
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Mattot-Massei: A Sojourn in Germany

July 20, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And these are the travels of the children of Israel”. We know little of many of the places the Jewish people encamped during their stay in the desert; the fact that Jews once lived in these places makes them worthy of mention in the Torah. Much of the parshiot of Mattot and Massei (and sefer Bamidbar, for that matter) deals with the issue of one’s place of abode.It is here, in this week’s parshiot, that the tribes of Reuven and Gad ask to be...
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Massei: Journeys

July 30, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And these are the journeys of the people of Israel” (33:1). The Torah lists over 40 stops along the long and winding route the Jewish people took on their journey to the land of Israel. Many of these names have never appeared before in the Bible and will never appear again. Their mention highlights the lack of purpose of so much of the stay of the Jewish people in the desert, going from meaningless place to meaningless place...
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