Saturday, August 02, 2008


A brief observation.

These Three Weeks between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av, which commemorate the destruction of the Temple, in this leap year, has contained three parashiyot: Matot, Mas'ei and Devarim.

What is a noun? A word for a 1) person, 2) place, or 3) thing.

What are these three parsha titles?
1) addressed to Roshei haMatot, the heads of the tribes, or Persons
2) a catalogue of Places where the Israelites camped
3) and Devarim means Things (well, in context, it means spoken things, but in general Davar is Thing)

Who is the ultimate Person? Hashem, even not anthropomorphized, He has various attributes of personhood - individuality, uniqueness, intelligence, etc.

What Place is the center of the [Jewish] world? Jerusalem, of course.

What is the ultimate Thing? The Holy Temple, or perhaps, some of the Things contained in it, such as the Ark and the Tablets. The Temple is the place where (normal, non-prophetic) Man and God interact in their closest manner.

So it is fitting that the parshiyot read during this time have titles that correspond to the three subjects of nouns.

What about a non-leap year, when Pinchas is the first, and Matot-Mas'ei is the second parasha? We can still k'neitch it to fit. Pinchas is a person, a Kohen, through whom the whole descent of Kohanim is established beyond his father Elazar. And where do Kohanim work? Why, the Temple of course. It all fits!

Ah, the joy of free association in a Torah-dic vein.

Gut voch, or Shavu'ah tov, if that suits better.