April 2, 2020

Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parshat Matot-Masei with Rabbi Dan Moskovitz

Rabbi Dan Moskovitz is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Sholom in Vancouver BC. An American now living in Canada since 2013. He is the chair of Reform Rabbis of Canada. Rabbi Moskovitz is the author of The Men’s Seder – an experiential Haggadah published by the Men of Reform Judaism Press The unique Haggadah that grapples with the role of men in our society today and the pressures that enslave them. He is currently writing a second edition. He is a frequently sought after voice by the media on issues of refugees, anti-semitism and Jewish values. He will be one of five authors of the URJ Reform Voices of Torah – weekly Torah commentary in the New Year.

This Week’s Torah portion – Parashat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13) – begins with Moses presenting the heads of the tribes with rules concerning the annulment of vows. War is waged against Midian and the Torah lists the different spoils Israel took hold of in their victory and describes how they are distributed. The tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Menashe ask Moses for the territory East of the Jordan as their portion of the promised land, and Moses eventually agrees on the condition that they first help conquering the part West of the Jordan. The boundaries of the Promised Land are stated, and cities of refuge are designated as havens for people who commit inadvertent murder. The portion ends with the story of the daughters of Tzelafchad marrying men of their own tribe (Menashe) in order to keep the estate which they inherited from their father within their own tribe.
Previous Torah Talks on Matot-Masei
Rabbi Uri Regev