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This week's Torah Portion: 

43 MASA'EI - STAGES - NUMBERS 33:1-36:1

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אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְצִבְאֹתָם בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹֽן

Eleh masa'ei V'ney-Yisra'el asher yats'u me'erets Mitzrayim letsiv'otam b'yad-Moshe v'Aharon

"These are the stages in the journey of the people of Isra'el as they left the land of Egypt divided into groups under the leadership of Moshe and Aharon."


Parashat Masa’ei (say “mah-sah-ey”) marks the end of the book of B’midbar (Numbers). As the book closes, we find the people anxiously poised in the east side of the Yarden (Jordan) wanting to finally leave this Wilderness (Heb: midbar) and enter into the promise that HaShem made so long ago with their forefathers.

Moshe takes this opportunity to recount each significant encampment along the way of their long and arduous journey. In a way, his narrative in chapter 33 serves as a look back from where they’ve come, anticipating where they are headed.

The Land and the Tribes are in full view here. I want to open our commentary by recalling some of the things that I stated in my haftarah commentary to Parashat Mattot. As some of you may know, the haftarah commentary is not made available to regular readers of the website, but only to those who have subscribed to the weekly portions, as received personally from me. In this opening to Parashat Masa’ei, I will use some of my material from my previous haftarah commentary. After that, I will go back over each of the previous nine commentary portions to B’midbar and construct a summary of the whole book.
— Parashat Masa'ei