Presented by the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra’anana, Rabbi Shmuel (Stewart) Weiss: Director
Our Sedra begins by discussing the daily (even Shabbat!) lighting of the Menora in the Mishkan. The Levi’im are consecrated by Moshe in their new position.
The law of Pesach Sheni is given: Those who were tamei (impure) on Pesach could, a month later, bring the Pesach offering with Matza & Maror.
Moshe attempts to persuade his father-in-law Yitro to accompany the nation to Israel. Yitro is hesitant, telling Moshe he must return to his land & his birthplace. Yitro’s final decision remains an open question.
Soon after leaving Har Sinai, the people complain about the lack of meat & about the Mahn. Moshe is frustrated; G-d says to appoint 70 elders to help lead the nation. Hashem sends flocks of quail that the people catch & eat; those who had previously complained about the food eat so much quail that they die from over-eating.
The Parsha ends with Miriam lamenting to Aharon how Moshe is too busy leading the people to have a normal family life. This is judged as Lashon Ha-ra, & Miriam is punished with tzara’at & must stay outside the camp for seven days.
The Haftorah from Zecharya connects to our Sedra as Yehoshua Kohen Gadol is shown the vision of a golden Menora, symbolizing that Hashem’s “eternal light” & spirit always brightens our path.