Our Stories

Torah Talk for Parashot Matot-Masei

July 11, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In Parashat Matot, Moshe describes the laws of oaths; the Bnei Yisrael battle the Midianites; and the tribes of Reuven and Gad request to dwell outside of the Land of Israel. In Parashat Masei, the final parasha of the book of Bemidbar (Numbers), the Bnei Yisrael stand on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to enter into the Promised Land. First, the path of their journey is reviewed and then the laws pertaining to the division of the Land are given. The boundaries of the Land of Yisrael are described and instructions are given to establish cities for the Levi’im (Levites) as well as Arei Miklat (Cities of Refuge). The book concludes with an affirmation of the claim on land of the daughters of Tzelophchad.

Let’s take a closer look at the episode of Reuven and Gad’s request to live outside of the borders of the Land (chapter 32), paying particular attention to a specific word that appears multiple times in this passage. Read more >