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parshat Beha'alotcha

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In this week's Torah reading (in Israel) of Baha'alotcha Hashem pushes the Jewish people towards the land of Israel. Why was the journey so arduous?
  • About the Kushite Woman
    The Torah states that Aharon and Miriam’s negative speech about Moshe had to with the isha kushit (simple translation being, the Kushite woman) that he took (Bamidbar 12:1-3). Several years ago, we discussed the opinions in Chazal that there was nothing derogatory about her being a Kushite, and actually to the contrary. However, there are some Rishonim who see in this matter a point of contention against Moshe and his wife, who left her father’s home to follow Moshe into the desert.
  • Do War and Happiness Go Together?
    The Torah, in our parasha, discusses uses of the chatzotrot (trumpets) that Moshe made. After mentioning their use in war (Bamidbar 10:9), it says: “On the day of your joy, your special days, and your new months, you shall blow the trumpets over your offerings” (ibid. 10). Is there a connection between wars and days of joy? Also, what is this day of happiness, if the yamim tovim are referred to with the next word? The Sifrei (Bamidbar 77) brings two opinions: Shabbat (during the time of the Shabbat offerings); the daily set offerings. The Ibn Ezra explains that the trumpet blasts that were done on Shabbat during the offerings made the people concentrate on their connection to Hashem.
  • Blessing over the Candles
    The beginning of parshas Behaalos’cha discusses the kindling of the menorah. This provides me with enough of an excuse to talk about a different kindling mitzvah.
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