Shabbat Beha’alotekha 5783

Do you remember the last Jewish holiday we observed? It wasn’t that long ago that we celebrated Shavu’ot, but maybe it feels like it was ages ago. That’s because we tend to look forward, not behind us. It’s an occupational hazard for Jewish professionals in that the moment we finish one special event, we are already thinking about the next one.
In this week’s Torah reading, Beha’alotekha, we learn that one holiday actually has an extension. As God tells Moshe to remind the Israelites to celebrate Pesah annually, we meet people who were ineligible to celebrate Pesah at its proper time and ask what they can do. Moshe, after consulting with God, tells them about what becomes Pesah Sheini, the “makeup Passover” to be celebrated one month later by those who missed the official date for legitimate reasons. In ideal circumstances, though, the Torah instructs us to observe it “on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, at its set time.” The Hebrew for that last word is bemo’ado, which appears to be different from bizmano, which means “at its time.”
Near the end of Shabbat, I’ll teach something from the words of the great Hasidic master Elimelech of Lizhensk about this word choice and other nuances in the Torah’s text. If we listen to his words carefully, we probably won’t forget our holidays so quickly!
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise
Candle lighting: 8:07 PM
Torah Reading: Numbers 8:1-12:16
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7