Monday, July 25, 2022

Mattot/Massei - Reading #2


Torah Reading: Numbers 30:2-36:13

Reading #2 - Numbers 31:13-54 

My Thoughts:

Today we learn about dividing the plunder (even though war is so difficult to comprehend). What is so fair and just is that Hashem provides for the Levites, who did not go out to war. He takes care of everything for all His people. That is important to remember today. He is providing for us and does provide for us every day. All we need is to trust in Him. 


It’s hard for us to understand war, as we have discussed before. This particular war is with the people who swayed the Israelites to sin with the prostitutes. This is the reason they go to war with the Midianites. We can only imagine how upset Hashem is with us when we sin in any area in our lives. He may not impose a “plague” on us, but He does allow us to suffer consequences. I can think of these times in my life and they are not fun. My challenge today is once again to review your life and “fix” your areas of sin. We want to be close to Hashem and not be separated by sin. 

*** None of us like war or understand it. But, it occurred to me that this must really be difficult on the Father, Adonai. He created and loves His creation how devastating it must be when when they die in war or disease (even if He has ordered to do this). We know He experiences loss and grief, He is all-knowing an all-feeling. He is everything. Don't think for a minute that Hashem does not have a reaction to all of this, He does. But, He also knows what is best for everyone. And He has instituted consequences for sin. I encourage you to think about all this the next time you want to "judge" G-d in your own mind for these wars that He calls into action. His reasons and purposes way surpass any understanding we might have. That is why we must learn to trust what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do.

Reading #2 - Numbers 31:13-54 

13 Moses and Eleazar the priest, with all the princes of the congregation, went out to meet them outside of the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war. 15 Moses said to them, “Have you saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against Hashem in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was among the congregation of Hashem. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the girls, who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

19 “Encamp outside of the camp for seven days. Whoever has killed any person, and whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day, you and your captives. 20 You shall purify every garment, and all that is made of skin, and all work of goats’ hair, and all things made of wood.”

21 Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who went to the battle, “This is the statute of the law which Hashem has commanded Moses. 22 However the gold, and the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23 everything that may withstand the fire, you shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water for impurity. All that doesn’t withstand the fire you shall make to go through the water. 24 You shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you shall be clean. Afterward you shall come into the camp.”

25 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Count the plunder that was taken, both of man and of animal, you, and Eleazar the priest, and the heads of the fathers’ households of the congregation; 27 and divide the plunder into two parts: between the men skilled in war, who went out to battle, and all the congregation. 28 Levy a tribute to Hashem of the men of war who went out to battle: one soul of five hundred; of the persons, of the cattle, of the donkeys, and of the flocks. 29 Take it from their half, and give it to Eleazar the priest, for Hashem’s wave offering. 30 Of the children of Israel’s half, you shall take one drawn out of every fifty, of the persons, of the cattle, of the donkeys, and of the flocks, of all the livestock, and give them to the Levites, who perform the duty of Hashem’s tabernacle.”