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Shabbat Shalom - Part 4

Balak (Balak) – Numbers 22:2 – 25:9

The story of Balaam and his desire to curse the children of Israel is a fabulous one. At the request of Balak, King of Moab, he tries to curse Israel, but at each opportunity, G-d prevents him from doing so. Finally, without a choice, he blesses the nation of Israel in some of the most beautiful verses in the Bible.

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Hukat (Statute) – Numbers 19:1 – 22:1

Numbers 20 presents a fascinating story, the story of the death of Miriam and the subsequent loss of water. Verse two: And the nation settled in Kadesh and Miriam died there and was buried there. Verse three: And there was no water for the nation.

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Korach (Korah) – Numbers 16:1 – 18:32

The Levite tribe is set aside as a separate tribe in Israel, dedicated to worshipping G-d on behalf of the nation of Israel in the Temple and, therefore, prevented from owning land or receiving their own tribal territory.

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Behukotai (My Statutes) – Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34

For centuries, anti-Semitism was fueled by a belief that G-d had abandoned His people, that the promises that had been listed specifically in the Bible for the Jewish people were no longer relevant.  Medieval Christian theologies were based on this premise.  But it is the clear statement in verse 44 that belies this idea, for G-d explicitly states that, despite exile and deserved punishment, G-d will never break His covenant with us.

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Behar (At The Mountain) – Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2

The Sabbath reminds us that G-d created the world and we are commanded to rest one day each week, to stop our activities of work and creation and devote ourselves to spiritual pursuits. The land does the same in the seventh year and reverts to its original owner in the 50th year, after seven Sabbatical cycles.

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