Sunday, July 16, 2006

Korach

Numbers 17:16-24

The test of Aaron’s and Moses’ favor with YHVH against the leaders of the second of the two (conflated) rebellions (Korach and his family having been swallowed up by the earth); the flowering of Aaron’s staff.

Sh'lakh l'kha

Numbers 15:8-16

The rules of offerings in fulfillment of a vow or of well-being; an explicit instruction that resident aliens shall follow the same ritual, and that “you and the stranger shall be alike before YHWH.” This brought up some discussion of the immigration debate, the ominous attempts to change “citizenship by soil” to “citizenship by blood” and the bizarre insistence by the administration that non-citizens (including those who are here legally) are not covered by the Bill of Rights, which only refers to “the people,” “persons,” the “accused,” or in the case of the 8th Amendment is couched entirely in the passive case: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

B'ha-alot'kha

Numbers 10:11-34

The Israelites’ “journeys from the wilderness of Sinai“; the order of march; Moses, evidently not having much faith in God to guide them, attempts to persuade his father-in-law (whose name now appears to be Hobab rather than Jethro or Reuel, although I still think it could be ”Hobab, who was the son of Reuel, who was Moses’ father-in-law,“ which would make him a brother-in-law and eliminate one of poor Jethro/Reuel’s names), to go with them. We talked a lot in our study session about the nature and behavior of the ”cloud.“

Naso

Number 7:1-41

Back to the penalty box with me – I’ve been bad again, so the next few posts will be summaries. This was my bat mitzvah portion, so one would think I would have had something brilliant to say about it, but evidently we dealt with the fourth aliyah, which had all sorts of wonderful things in it, like the priestly blessing, the nazirite vow, etc.

The fifth aliyah, on the other hand, is about the consecration of the Tabernacle after its completion and includes, in mind-numbing and repetitive detail, a list of the tribal leaders and their offerings, at least through the fifth day.