Shabbat candles: 8:13 p.m.
Torah: Numbers 16:1-18:32
Haftarah: I Samuel 11:14-12:22
Havdalah: 9:22 p.m.
This week’s parsha stands as the paradigm in the Rabbinic tradition for what differentiates arguments that are l’Shem Shamayim (for the sake of Heaven) versus those that are of a pernicious and illegitimate nature.
Between the lines of the Bible, we glimpse the difficulties — even tragedy — of Moses, the greatest prophet in history, who sees himself losing the fealty of his people. Moses feels that he is failing to direct the Israelites toward the very goal of the Exodus: the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel. Where has he gone wrong, and why?
Whereas Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu, die tragically for bringing uninvited offerings to God, in this week’s reading God goes out of his way to encourage the entire people, not only the crown princes of the priesthood, to “be holy” [Leviticus 19:2].