04 Aug Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Matot-Mas’ei 5776
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Matot-Mas’ei, the longest double-portion in the entire Torah. In addition to its considerable length, Matot-Mas’ei is known for bringing to a close the book of B’midbar, the book of Numbers. As I’ve mentioned before, it is within the chapters of the book of B’midbar that the Israelites spend the overwhelming majority of their time in the desert and all of their traveling post-Mt. Sinai. For us, the end of the B’midbar and the start of D’varim, Deuteronomy, reminds us that our traveling for the year has overwhelmingly come to an end. The summer is drawing to a close (despite what the temperatures outside might indicate) and school will begin again very soon. Additionally, we have begun our initial ascent into the High Holiday season. But just as the Israelites still had time to consider what kind of experience they wanted to have in the desert, we still have time to make this year count. There’s about nine weeks left in 5776. Let’s be sure to make the most of them.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik