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5 aspects of this Shabbat

5 דברים לקראת שבת

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

  • This week's Torah portion is Pinchas, the 8th parasha in the book of Bamidbar (Numbers).
  • This is the second longest parasha in the Torah and it includes a national census, division of the land of Israel into tribal portions, God granting Zelophechad's request that daughters inherit their father's land when he passes away without sons, and the sacrifices associated with the holidays.
  • God tells Moshe Rabbeinu to appoint Yehoshua as his successor. The sons of Moshe would not receive the mantle of leadership, but rather Yehoshua, his devoted student. This teaches us that leadership is not an inheritance but must be earned.
  • Yesterday was the fast of the 17th of Tammuz which opens a period of mourning known as "the three weeks" or "between the straits," leading up to the 9th of Av, which commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple.
  • On Shabbat mornings, after reading from the Torah, we read the haftarah. In this week's haftarah from the book of Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah), we read the famous passage regarding the nation of Israel's faithfulness during its forty years in the desert and, by extension, throughout its long history: "I accounted to your favor the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride -- how you followed Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown."

Shabbat shalom.


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