Parashot Matot-Masei

Summary: Parsahot Matot-Masei are the 9th & 10th in the Book of Numbers covering Chapters 30-36. Matot begins with a section on Vows & Oaths, includes the seminal battle against the Midianites and the taxing of war spoils. It ends with a request from the tribes of Gad & Reuben to remain in trans-Jordan and their agreement to help conquer Canaan.

Masei lists the Children of Israel’s 42 journeys during their sojourn in the Midbar; laws to destroy local idolatry in Canaan; a definition of the territory’s borders and an appointment of 12 new princes. Masei continues with the command to set up cities for the Levites, 48 towns of refuge for the accidental murderer.

The Book of Bamidbar ends with a revision to the Law of Female Inheritance, requiring women property holders to marry within their father’s tribes.

Comment: In anticipation of Tisha B’Av which occurs on Monday 31 July and Tuesday 1 August, please enjoy this thought-provoking video from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.