Matot-Masei Saturday, July 18, 2015 /2 Av, 5775

This week’s Torah portion is a double Torah portion, and its last words conclude the Book of Numbers. The name of second half of the Torah portion, Masei, means “journeys,” and indeed, the first part of that section recounts all of the places where the Israelites camped in their 40 years of journeying through the wilderness: 42 locations in all. However, it is startling that Mt. Sinai is not listed among them! According to commentator Mordecai Hacohen, the omission is deliberate: So that the Torah becomes “timeless and cut loose from any one place: every moment is its moment and every place its place.” (UAHC Commentary, p. 1240) Perhaps this explains how we Jews have managed to keep our sacred traditions and stories alive throughout the millennia of our wanderings in every corner of the world.

Numbers 30:2–36:13