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Shabbat Matot (Numbers 30:2 – 32:42)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

What is it about things that we want? Looking at this week’s portion, I’m reminded of a quote by Samuel Butler:

It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil.
The want of money is so quite as truly.

At first blush, this doesn’t look like a fun portion for women.

First, the vows of a women vows are discussed – mostly in terms of what they are not. They are not binding in several cases. They are not consistent. They are subject to reversal. They are not like men’s.

Then the Israelites take revenge on the Midianite women for what they did – which was lead the innocent Israelite men into sinful ways.

Uh huh.

The Israelites kill all of the men-folk they can find (including Balam. We can only assume the donkey made it out alive). But what do those devout, honourable, pure men do with all those lustful pagan the women? Why round them up and bring them home as spoils of war, of course.

So, limited only by your creativity and the category of food which you have been assigned, please bring something which is “attractive”.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

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