Parsha Talk Beha’alotkha 5783 2023

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat B’ha’alot’kha [Numbers 8-12], the third parashah in Numbers, covers a lot of ground. To name just a few topics, there is the lighting of the menorah [Numbers 8:1-4]; the ritual purification of the Levites so they might perform their duties with the Tabernacle [Numbers 8:5-22]; the Second Passover [9:1-14], which allows those who are in a state of ritual impurity or too far from the Temple at the time of the First Passover to participate in this great national celebration; the guidance in the wilderness [Numbers 10:29-36] provided by Hobab, the name given here for the figure known elsewhere as Jethro (father-in-law of Moses), and the Ark, including the two verses separated by the inverted nuns [the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet], the complaints at Taberah [11:1-3] and Kibbroth-Hattaavah [4-35], which includes Moses complaining to God about his burden, God providing for 70 elders to assist Moses, and God providing a month’s worth of quail to satisfy the people’s demand for meat; and the passage about Aaron and Miriam challenging the authority of Moses [chapter 12]. Even though this list seems exhaustive, there are things left out! Our conversation is perhaps not so wide-ranging, but worth a listen nevertheless. Shabbat Shalom!