Torah Tidbits

24 April 2014 / 24 Nisan 5774
Issue 1039
Shabbat Parshat Tzav-Hagadol-Shmini
March 21, 2013

Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Pesach Torah & other readings

First Day of Pesach (15 Nissan, Tuesday, March 26th)
First Torah - five people, 31 p’sukim Sh’mot 12:21-51 (from BO)
Continuation of what we read on Shabbat HaChodesh. It contains the actual procedures to be followed in the bringing of the Korban Pesach, the account of the night of the 10th plague, the Exodus, the Exodus- Matza connection, reference to Leil Shimurim, and mitzvot related to Korban Pesach.
Second Torah - Maftir, 10 p’sukim Bamidbar 28:16-25 (from Pinchas)
Contains the Korban Musaf of Pesach. Begins with Korban Pesach on the 14th and repetition of the “comand” to eat matza for seven days.
Haftara: 15 p’sukim - Yehoshua 5:2-6:1
The Torah tells us of Pesach Mitzrayim, and then of the first annual Pesach. After that, KP was not brought for the duration of the time in the Midbar. The haftara tells of the mass circumcision at Gilgal of the males who were below military age when we came out of Egypt and those born in the Midbar. Following the Mila, the first Pesach in Eretz Yisrael was observed. The Manna ceased and the new People of Israel ate from the harvest of the Land for the first time. Yehoshua meets an angel and is about to begin preparations for battle against Yericho, the first step in conquering the Land.

2nd day of Pesach Omer Day 1 (1st day of Chol HaMoed in Israel 16 Nissan, Wednesday, March 27th)
First Torah - 3 people, 52 p’sukim Vayikra 22:26-23:44 (from Emor)
The bulk of the reading is The Festival Portion, Vayikra 23. It deals with the entire cycle of holidays, all of which revolve around Pesach, all of which in some way commemorate the Exodus. Contains the mitzva of the Omer which was brought on the second day of Pesach. Perfect timing. The Festival Portion is preceded by several p’sukim that deal with sacrifices and with the mitzvot of Kiddush HaShem. Reference is made to G-d’s taking us out of Egypt - definitely part of the reason for “prefixing” this to the Festival portion.
Second Torah - 4th Aliya, 7 p’sukim Bamidbar 28:19-25 (Pinchas)
Contains just the Musaf of Pesach, without the first 3 p’sukim, which are read on the first day only.

3rd day of Pesach Omer Day 2 (2nd day of Chol HaMoed in Israel 17 Nissan, Thursday, March 28th)
First Torah - 3 people, 16 p’sukim
Sh’mot 13:1-16 (from BO)
Continuation of the first day’s read- ing. Consists of the two parshiyot known as KADEISH and V’HAYA KI Y’VI’ACHA, which join the first two portions of the Sh’ma as the four parshiyot in T’filin. Contains the mitzvot of the sanctity of firstborns, which derives from the events in Mitzrayim. Extensive reference to Pesach is also found here.
2nd Torah - 4th Aliya, same as day 2

4th day of Pesach Omer Day 3 (3rd day of Chol HaMoed in Israel 18 Nissan, Friday, March 29th)
First Torah - 3 people, 26 p’sukim Sh’mot 22:24-23:19 (from Mishpatim)
Contains many mitzvot including those related to the Three Festivals. The opening mitzvot of this portion deal with Tzedaka. This is particularly appropriate in light of the practice of KIMCHA D’PISCHA, providing for the needs of the poor.
2nd Torah - 4th Aliya, same as day 2

5th day of Pesach Omer Day 4 (Shabbat Chol HaMoed, 19 Nissan, March 30th - Mazal Tov Dvir)
Many have the custom of reading Shir HaShirim before Torah reading. When it is read from a kosher megila scroll, AL MIKRA MEGILA and SHE’HE’CHE’YANU are said. The love between G-d and Israel is the theme of Shir HaShirim. That love was forged in Egypt (and earlier, from the time of the Avot & Imahot) and remains everlasting because of the Exodus and the subsequent MATAN TORAH at Sinai.
First Torah - 7 people, 38 p’sukim Sh’mot 33:12-34:26 (from Ki Tisa)
The main theme of the reading of Shabbat Chol HaMoed is the 13 Divine Attributes. In the aftermath of the Sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe Rabeinu asks G-d to allow him to know Him (G-d) more intimately. G-d will not allow this completely, for it is impossible for any human being, but He will show Moshe more of Himself (so to speak) than anyone else would ever see. G-d then commands Moshe to cut new LUCHOT and write upon them that which was written on the first set, “that you broke”. G-d forgives the People, sends Moshe back to them with the new LUCHOT, and with the knowledge of the YUD-GIMEL MIDOT, which the people of Israel are to use in prayer, and some of whose traits, we are to emulate.
This is followed by a review of the three major Chagim, including mitzvot related to Pesach.
2nd Torah - MAFTIR, same as day 2
Haftara 14 p’sukim - Yechezkeil 37:1-14
The famous prophecy of the Valley of the Dry Bones. In his vision, the Navi sees bones gradually get covered with sinew, flesh, and skin. Then G-d tells Yechezkeil to prophesy in His name to the inert bodies that G-d will bring to them the breath of life and they will live. The message to Yechezkeil (and all of us) is that the Jewish Nation, scattered in Exile among the nations of the world, are like those dry bones. But they are not gone and forgotten. They will have the breath of G-d breathed into them and they will return to life - active spiritual, religious life. This prophecy is also about T’CHIYAT HAMEITIM.
There are connections between this Haftara and Pesach in general. But one can also see a connection to the Torah reading specific to Shabbat Chol HaMoed. After the Sin of the Golden Calf, the people were on the verge of extinction… The 13 Midot represent the restoration of life to the generation of the Midbar. In that way, the Haftara fits well.
Shabbat Mincha - 3 people - 16 p’sukim from the beginning of Sh’mini, as usual for Shabbat Mincha.

6th day of Pesach Omer Day 5 (5th day of Chol HaMoed in Israel 20 Nissan, Sunday, March 31st)
First Torah - 3 people, 14 p’sukim Bamidbar 9:1-14 (from B’haalot’cha)
Deals with the first (and only) KP brought in the Midbar. And contains the mitzvot of Pesach Sheni.
2nd Torah - 4th Aliya, same as day 2

7th day of Pesach Omer Day 6 (Last day of Pesach in Israel 21 Nissan, Monday, April 1st)
First Torah - 5 people, 63 p’sukim Sh’mot 13:17-15:26 (from B’shalach)
Continuation of the reading from the third day, which is a continuation of the first day, which is a continuation of the Maftir of Shabbat HaChodesh. Contains the events immediately following Y’tzi’at Mitzrayim, mainly the Splitting of the Sea the drowning of the Egyptians, and the Song of the Sea - AZ YASHIR. Our tradition is that it was on the seventh day of Pesach that we crossed Yam Suf.
2nd Torah - Maftir, same as day 2
Haftara: 51 p’sukim - Shmuel 2 22:1-51
Song of David HaMelech, written in exactly the unusual style as AZ YASHIR is written in a Torah scroll. The haftara for the final day of Pesach (in Israel) is the exultant hymn of thanksgiving to G-d. One gets the sense, when following Torah with this Haftara, of B’CHOL DOR VADOR - in every generation…
Tue, 22 Nissan, April 2 ISRU CHAG:
Meanwhile in Chutz LaAretz (and for some Chu"L people here)...

8th day of Pesach Omer Day 7
First Torah - 5 people, 22 p’sukim D’varim 15:19-16:17 (from end of R’EI)
2nd Torah - Maftir, same as day 2
Haftara 25 p’sukim - Yesh. 10:32-12:6
Even while we celebrate Y’TZI’AT MITZRAYIM, we have our sights on the GEULA SH’LEIMA… Mashiach, world peace, Ingathering of the Exiles…

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