This week’s Torah portion, Matot (מַּטּוֹת), is the 42nd (42/54 or 52, depending on the year: this year, it’s 54…) reading in the annual cycle, and the 9th parashah, second to last, in the book of B’Midbar/Numbers, although I normally think of it as Matot-Masei, the 42 & 43 parshiot read together as a double-parashah, since it is doubled up so many years with next parashat Masei. This week, in fact, we will also read both parshiot, but this year I will only look at Parashat Matot, which is read in B’Midbar/Numbers 30:2-32:42.
So, among other things, two tribes see how nice the land is on the other side of the Jordan, and ask to have their inheritances there, instead of between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, like everybody else. Moshe says ok, on condition that they still help everyone else conquer the territory designated earlier. Not great for ethical behavior toward the rest of the world, but still has a lesson in how to behave toward community: even those who’ve already ‘got theirs’ still have to help everyone else ‘get theirs.’
Despite the discomfort of this parashah in terms of conquest of other peoples’ land, the lesson for later times can be seen in terms of building an equitable society, in that it takes the help of all, the privileged and those who already have what they need, to provide for the needs of all.What do you think we can do to build an equitable society? I look forward to hearing your opinions on this matter, Thoughtful Readers. We can really Do Better. -Shira Last week was: Parashat Pinchas פִּינְחָס 5782, & Women Still Don’t Count? , I look forward to hearing your opinions, Thoughtful Readers. We can really Do Better. -Shira
Action Prompts:Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in to create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please. Guest posts are always welcome. Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better. What would yours be, if you had the spare time and energy?
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