Sunday, July 24, 2022

Mattot/Massei - Reading #1


Torah Reading: Numbers 30:2-36:13

Reading #1 - Numbers 30:2-31:12 

My Thoughts:

Today we learn about vows to Hashem and the husbands/fathers role in all of this. Vows are very sacred to Hashem. We are not to say them without first considering their importance. Hashem with all His grace and mercy has made some considerations for women making “rash” vows without thinking. A husband can actually release his wife from a vow -- as can a father for a daughter. This shows the fairness and equity of Hashem. But, it also shows the seriousness of what words come out of our mouths. Let us be super careful about what we promise to others and what we vow to Hashem. Follow through and make good what you say. Your word “stands” before Hashem. 


A great war is fought between the Midianites and Israelites. These are difficult passages to read. But we must remember this. The Midianites had enticed Israel to sin. Yes, Hashem’s people “fell” into the sin and could have resisted. But they did not not. Hashem inflicted punishment on His people with a plague. Now, there must be punishment on the people that did this to Israel. Sin does not go forward without consequence. We might think we are getting away with something when we sin -- but this is never the case. What we do affects our lives, other people’s lives and our relationship with Hashem. Remember this the next time you are tempted to do something wrong or and to disobey Hashem. Repent quickly and make things right -- make restitution. There will be consequences but most likely not as severe as if you did not repent. Sin separates us from Hashem. We do not want this and neither does He. Let’s be careful about what we do and say. Amen.

Reading #1 - Numbers 30:2-31:12 

30:2 When a man vows a vow to Hashem, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

3 “Also, when a woman vows a vow to Hashem and binds herself by a pledge, being in her father’s house, in her youth, 4 and her father hears her vow and her pledge with which she has bound her soul, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge with which she has bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father forbids her in the day that he hears, none of her vows or of her pledges with which she has bound her soul, shall stand. Hashem will forgive her, because her father has forbidden her.

6 “If she has a husband, while her vows are on her, or the rash utterance of her lips with which she has bound her soul, 7 and her husband hears it, and says nothing to her in the day that he hears it; then her vows shall stand, and her pledges with which she has bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband forbids her in the day that he hears it, then he makes void her vow which is on her and the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul. Hashem will forgive her.

9 “But the vow of a widow, or of her who is divorced, everything with which she has bound her soul shall stand against her.

10 “If she vowed in her husband’s house or bound her soul by a bond with an oath, 11 and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her and didn’t disallow her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge with which she bound her soul shall stand. 12 But if her husband made them null and void in the day that he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand. Her husband has made them void. Hashem will forgive her. 13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. 14 But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges which are on her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her in the day that he heard them. 15 But if he makes them null and void after he has heard them, then he shall bear her iniquity.”

16 These are the statutes which Hashem commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between a father and his daughter, being in her youth, in her father’s house.

31 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Avenge the children of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.”

3 Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for war, that they may go against Midian, to execute Hashem’s vengeance on Midian. 4 You shall send one thousand out of every tribe, throughout all the tribes of Israel, to the war.” 5 So there were delivered, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 6 Moses sent them, one thousand of every tribe, to the war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. 7 They fought against Midian, as Hashem commanded Moses. They killed every male. 8 They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. 9 The children of Israel took the women of Midian captive with their little ones; and all their livestock, all their flocks, and all their goods, they took as plunder. 10 All their cities in the places in which they lived, and all their encampments, they burned with fire. 11 They took all the captives, and all the plunder, both of man and of animal. 12 They brought the captives with the prey and the plunder, to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho.