Parshat Matot-Masei: July 10, 2021 – 1 Av 5781

Daf Hashavua: A weekly digest of the Parshat Hashavua 

Parshat Matot-Masei

  • Stone Chumash p.900
  • 244 verses (Largest Torah reading of the Year!)
  •  Haftorah: Jeremiah Chapter 2, p. 1193 

Rosh Chodesh Av 5781 – July 10, 2021

  • First Day of The Month of Av

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting:   8:04pm
  • Sunrise:                5:56:11am
  • Latest Shma:        9:32am
  • Earliest Mincha:  1:45pm
  • Havdalah:             9:06pm
  • Zoom Havdalah: 9:26pm

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General Introduction

Parshat Matot-Masei contains several themes:


1) The rules regulating the vows of women

2) The battle for revenge against the Midianites

3) The laws of kashering the non- kosher utensils of Midian

4) Some tribes wish to settle on the newly-acquired east bank of the Jordan

5) The conditions necessary for receiving that permission


1) Forty-year itinerary of the desert people’s travels

2) Rules for conquering the land of Israel. All idolatry must be destroyed and practitioners expelled.

3) Map of the Land of Israel.

4) Designation of the leaders who will apportion the Land. The cities of the Levites

5) Laws relating to manslaughter and the rights of the next of kin.

6) Initially (and temporarily), women must marry within their own tribe to insure the integrity of the tribal borders.

Haftorah: Stone Chumash p.1193. This week we read the second of the three sad Haftarot before Tisha B’Av. Jeremiah reminds the people of the consequences of sin, and the salvation inherent in repentance.

Calendrical Events

Today is Rosh Chodesh Av, and henceforth commences the period known as “The Nine Days.”  The mourning period for the destruction of the Temple now intensifies. One may not consume meat nor drink wine during this time, except for Shabbat. If one participates in a Siyum, however, one may eat meat. One should refrain from doing laundry. One should not bathe, nor swim. One may bathe for reasons of personal hygiene. 

It is commendable during this time to read books of Jewish history relating to the destruction of the Temple. Some examples are the last chapters of  the book of Kings II, and Josephus. One should also read books pertaining to other sad events of Jewish history, such as biographies of the Crusades or the Holocaust. I recommend reading appropriate entries of the Encyclopedia Judaica, as well many books available on Amazon.

By Rabbi Avraham Kelman

Rabbi Avraham Kelman received his rabbinical ordination at Yeshiva University and was a student of Rabbi Y.D. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Kelman has served in diverse communities, including being the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community of Trieste, Italy. While there, he was able to absorb the sublime melodies of the Torah reading and prayers of the ancient congregation. Email Rabbi Kelman. While studying and teaching Torah and Jewish Thought have always been the essence of his life, Rabbi Kelman is also a specialist in the most practical areas of Judaism. A Sofer, Mohel, and Shochet, he also, for many years, served on the Beit Din of Boston. In addition, he has also pursued other varied interests such as Bel Canto music and astronomy, and has a particular love for Jewish history. Throughout his career, he has developed an extensive Jewish history curriculum, teaching classes on topics such as the Aleppo Codex, Rembrandt and the Jews, and the biography of Menashe ben Israel.