(Numbers 21:1-24:18)

(Haftara: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25,26)

  1. [21:28] When a person’s animal maliciously damages someone else’s property, the owner of the animal pays for half of the damage the first 3 times, and then the full damage every time after that. What might be the reason for this law? Does it sound just to you?
  1. [22:20] When the Torah tells us not to oppress the stranger, we are reminded that we were strangers in Egypt. In other commandments, we are not told to remember our own experiences. Why is this extra encouragement or motivation given with this commandment?
  1. [22:30] “Be holy to me and don’t eat any meat from an animal that was killed by a predator in the field…” What does being holy have to do with not eating this type of meat?
  1. 4. [24:7] “…we will do and we will hear (understand).” The Talmud understands this pasuk as expressing a very praiseworthy quality of the children of Israel. First they will do the commandments, and afterwards they will try to understand. The Rashbam understands this to mean that they will do the commandment, and then they will listen for the next commandment. Which of these explanations is the greater praise of the children of Israel?
  1. [24:10] “And they saw the God of Israel…” When the group “saw” God, it is described with this metaphor that suggests clarity. When Moshe is with God alone [24:18], the experience is described in terms of a cloud. Why is there this difference between their experiences, and why does Moshe’s experience seem more “cloudy” and less “clear”?

Commentary

[23:12] “…and on the seventh day you shall rest in order that your ox and your donkey should rest…”

You should rest and have peace on the Sabbath in such an intense way that you should influence everyone and everything in your environment. Everything around you should also be at peace.

–Rabbi A. M. Alter of Gur

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer