Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 Matot III

In Numbers on July 19, 2011 at 2:06 am

Fortune! Glory!
To the victor go the spoils,
And implication.

Jeremiah 1:1 – 2:3
Numbers 31:13 – 24

At the camp, or outside the camp?

Why did the chieftains stay at home?

Did any of the army perish?

Imagine! Moses and the chieftains meet the leaders of the army roundabout the camp, arguing. Over what? Who is Israel? Do Moses and the chieftains argue a case against Israel? Or do the leaders of the army argue a case against Israel?

Why would they spare every female? It was the Moabite women who enticed Israel, why switch to Midianite women here? Is it purely hatred that drives Midian? Or are they as a scapegoat to Moab? For the text does not say they and Moab but simply, they. Should the question be, why wouldn’t they? Rashi points out that Balaam counseled Midian; would he have counseled the kings? Or the women? For the text says they slew every male.

Or did they? Why state they slew every male and then say slay every male among the children? Why slay every male among the children?

Is this God’s command? Or Moses’?

Do we spare vice? Or virtue? Sex? Money? Industry? Innovation? Golden calves? Is the difference here a hairsbreadth, there a rib?

Does Moses and his party have to stay outside the camp and purify themselves as well? For the text says and they brought the captives, the booty, and the spoil to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the whole Israelite community, at the camp, etc&. What about Israel?

How do they expect captives to put up with being smeared with water made from cow dung? How can they put up with this themselves? Why specify what needs to be cleansed? Why not say everyone, everything?

Why is water of lustration specified only for those objects that can withstand fire?

Will the army be welcomed back into the camp, fresh with water of lustration, on the seventh day? What if the third or seventh day is Shabbos? Is cleansing work?

  1. milking the golden calf
    an easy fast
    ready for Tikkun

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