January 20, 2019

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Matot with Rabbi Steven Lindemann

Our guest this week is Rabbi Steven Lindemann, Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, NJ. Rabbi Lindemann was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1980 and served as Rabbi of Rodef Sholom Temple in Hampton, Virginia for 12 years, before moving to Beth Sholom. He is a member of the Executive and Administrative Councils of the International Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement. He also currently holds the position of Vice President for the Philadelphia Region of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Treasurer of the Tri-County Board of Rabbis in New Jersey. He has been a member of the UJA and Israel Bonds Rabbinic Cabinets. He received the Young Leadership Award from the Federation of the Virginia Peninsula and the National Brotherhood Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews. Rabbi Lindemann holds an MA in Jewish Communal Service from the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University and an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from JTS in December 2007.

This Week's Torah portion – Parashat Matot (Numbers 30:2-32:42) – 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 west part West of the Jordan. Our discussion focuses on the story of the two and a half tribes who settle on the East Side of the Jordan and on what it can teach us about the need to balance between our feelings about Israel's right to particular sections of the land and the well-being of our children.

If you would like to learn some more about parashat Matot, take a look at our conversation with Rabbi Uri Regev.