Numbers 30:2 - 32:42

Jeremiah 1:1 - 2:3

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses describes the laws of oaths. The Israelites battle the Midianites. The tribes of Reuven and Gad request to dwell outside of the Land of Israel.

FULL SUMMARY

The Wandering People

Everyone must have a safe place to be before anyone can feel at home.

More on this Torah Portion

The Vows of Women

How can we stimulate and support women to fulfill their dreams?

Parashat Matot Quiz

Learn more about the weekly Torah portion.

Coping with Complexity

Awareness of the wholeness in the Torah opens our eyes to the wholeness of the world.

Living in Balance

What accounts for the negative correlation between material excess and awareness of the Divine?

Parashat Matot: Summary

Moses describes the laws of oaths; the Israelites battle the Midianites; the tribes of Reuben and Gad request to dwell outside of the Land of Israel.

Some Messages Are Hard To Deliver

The severity of the war against the Midianites should motivate us to examine our own behavior and root out our own forms of idolatry.

Holy Words

The laws of vows and the rabbinic cautions against making them teach the holiness and power of the spoken word.

Compassionate Conquest

The war against Midian teaches that when Israel does fight wars, they must fight with compassion and a minimum of casualties.

My Word

The laws of vows teach that our words have the power to create holiness between us.

No Neutrality: Silence Is Assent

The laws of nullifying vows teach us that our silence and inaction in the face of contemporary injustice and oppression is akin to assenting to it.

Do We Have to Cross the Jordan?

The request of the tribes of Reuben and Gad to settle outside of the Land of Israel raises the issue of balancing communal and individual needs.

Maintaining Monotheism

Our discomfort with the Torah's command to wipe out other nations stems from the contrast between that directive and the Torah's usual emphasis on respect for human life.