– This week’s parsha, Matot, translates as”tribes” and covers Numbers 30:2- 32:43.
In Matot, Moses explains to tribe leaders the rules regarding nedarim (agreements or vows). It is no shocker that gender plays a role in nedarim, with vows of girls and women being subject to approval by their fathers or husbands.
Matot is the final chapter on the Journey to the Promised Land. Moses, knowing he will not enter into the land of Israel, lectures on nedarim and reminds the people of tumah (ritual impurity).
Matot then takes a disturbing turn as G-d instructs Moses to attack the Midianites, slay every single male and torch the town and to take the women, children, and animals as a prize. Moses disagreed with a decision to spare the women-folk (as they had engaged in some bidding for Balam and were not guilt free) so he ordered the Israelites to kill everyone, sparing only the virgin girls.
Just to get an idea of amount of booty the Israelites collected, it is written that the total lot of seized items included 32,000 virgin women, 61,000 donkeys, and 675,000 sheep.
Moses then became a little cocky, agitating G-d into swearing the no adult Israelite male (except Joshua and Caleb) would ever see the promised land.
Candle lighting for South Whidbey is at 8:43 with 9:50 havdalah.
Animated at G-dcast: Matot http://www.g-dcast.com/matot