Shabbat Mattot-Mas’ei 5781

This Shabbat, in addition to being Rosh Hodesh, has the longest Torah reading of the year. The double parshah of Mattot and Mas’ei is full of narrative about the Israelite wilderness journey, including a detailed travelogue. The Masorites, who codified the system of chanting the Torah that we call trope, knew that reciting the litany of stops and starts along the way could be boring, so they instituted a more majestic sound for that passage. That’s another example of the idea that music keeps things interesting!
And speaking of music, see if you can identify the connection between the Torah reading and these songs:
Brandi Carlisle
The Story of Maryanne and Wanda
This painful hit made MC Hammer a star
What famous West Wing scene was set to this song?
This band is made for this parshah
Vintage Madonna
Now that we are coming back to shul in person, I will be revealing the connections in the break between Minhah and Ma’ariv. Join us in person in the sanctuary, or virtually on the livestream, at 7:55 PM.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom, and as always, good health,  
Rabbi David Wise
Candle lighting: 8:09 PM
Torah Reading: Numbers 30:2-36:13
Triennial: Numbers 32:1-33:49
Maftir: Numbers 28:9-15
Haftarah: Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4