Weekly Cycle

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Book 3 in a Nutshell


Shirat HaYam (Song of the Sea) and Haftarah, Shirat Devorah (Song of Deborah)
Generations from Adam to the Last Ruler  of the Kingdom of Judah
Talmud, Sotah
Journeys and Conquest
Rosh Hashanah
Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and they spoke, saying, I will sing to the Lord, for very exalted is He;

1. Now Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying.

Portion of Sotah Torah reading

They journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day following the Passover sacrifice, the children of Israel left triumphantly before the eyes of all the Egyptians.   And the Egyptians were busy burying because the Lord had struck down their firstborn and had wrought vengeance against their deities.  And the Egyptians were busy burying: occupied with their mourning. (Bamidbar, 33:1-48)
Yom Kippur
a horse and its rider He cast into the sea. The Eternal's strength and His vengeance were my salvation;

2. "When breaches are made in Israel,
when the people offer themselves willingly, bless the Lord.

The children of Israel journeyed from Rameses and camped in Succoth.

this is my G-d, and I will make Him a habitation, the G-d of my father, and I will ascribe to Him exaltation.

Hear, O kings, give ear, O princes;
I, to the Lord I shall sing,

They journeyed from Succoth and camped in Etham, at the edge of the desert.

Shemini Atzeret
The Lord is a Master of war; the Lord is His Name. Pharaoh's chariots and his army He cast into the sea,

I shall sing to the Lord, the G-d of Israel.
Lord, when You went forth out of Seir,

They journeyed from Etham and camped in Pi hahiroth, which faces Baal zephon; and they camped in front of Migdol.
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan
and the elite of his officers sank in the Red Sea.      The depths covered them; they descended into the depths like a stone.

when You marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, the heavens also dripped;

They journeyed from Penei hahiroth (“face of rocks”) and crossed in the midst of the sea to the desert. They walked for three days in the desert of Etham and camped in Marah.

First Week of Cheshvan
(Potential 3rd Temple Holiday)[1]
Your right hand, O Lord, is most powerful; Your right hand, O Lord, crushes the foe.

also the clouds dripped water. The mountains melted at the presence of the Lord,

They journeyed from Marah and arrived in Elim, and in Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there.
Second Week of Cheshvan
(3rd Temple)
And with Your great pride You tear down those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning wrath; it devours them like straw.

this (was at) Sinai, because of the presence of the Lord, the G-d of Israel.
6. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,

They journeyed from Elim and camped by the Red Sea.

Third Week of Cheshvan
(3rd Temple)
And with the breath of Your nostrils the waters were heaped up; the running water stood erect like a wall;

 in the days of Jael, caravans ceased, and travellers walked on crooked paths.


They journeyed from the Red Sea and camped in the desert of Zin.
Fourth Week of Chesvan or Rosh Chodesh Kislev
the depths congealed in the heart of the sea. [Because] the enemy said, I will pursue,

7. The open cities ceased, in Israel they ceased,  until I Deborah arose;
I arose as a mother in Israel.
They journeyed from the desert of Zin and camped in Dophkah.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev or 1st week
I will overtake, I will share the booty; my desire will be filled from them; I will draw my sword, my hand will impoverish them.

8. When they chose new G-ds,
then there was war in the cities; was there seen a shield or a spear

They journeyed from Dophkah and camped in Alush.
Yud Kislev
You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the powerful waters.
 (when the) forty thousand (went against) Israel? My heart is toward the lawgivers of Israel,

They journeyed from Alush and camped in Rephidim, but there there was no water for the people to drink.
Yud Tet Kislev
Who is like You among the powerful, O Lord? Who is like You, powerful in the holy place?    

that offered themselves willingly among the people, (saying,) 'Bless the Lord.' 10. The riders of white donkeys,

They journeyed from Rephidim and camped in the Sinai desert.

Too awesome for praises, performing wonders! You inclined Your right hand; the earth swallowed them up. 
those that sit in judgment, and those that walk on the path, tell of it. 11. Instead of the noise of adversaries, between the places of drawing water,


They journeyed from the Sinai desert and camped in Kivroth hataavah.

Chanukah/Rosh Chodesh Tevet
With Your loving kindness You led the people You redeemed;  You led [them] with Your might to Your holy abode.

there they will tell the righteous acts of the Lord,  the righteous acts of restoring open cities in Israel.

They journeyed from Kivroth haTaavah and camped in Hazeroth

10th of Tevet
People heard, they trembled; a shudder seized the inhabitants of Philistia.            

Then the people of the Lord went down to the cities. Praise (Awake)! Praise (Awake)! Deborah.

They journeyed from Hazeroth and camped in Rithmah.

Third Week of Tevet
Then the chieftains of Edom were startled; [as for] the powerful men of Moab, trembling seized them;
Praise! Praise! Utter a song.
Arise Barak, and capture your captives, son of Abinoam.

They journeyed from Rithmah and camped in Rimmon perez.

Fourth Week of Tevet
all the inhabitants of Canaan melted. May dread and fright fall upon them;

Then ruled a remnant among the mighty of the nations; the Lord dominated the strong for me.

They journeyed from Rimmon perez and camped in Libnah.

Rosh Chodesh Shvat
with the arm of Your greatness may they become as still as a stone, until Your people cross over, O Lord,
Out of Ephraim, whose root was against Amalek; after you (will be) Benjamin with your abaters;


They journeyed from Libnah and camped in Rissah.

Yud Shvat
until this nation that You have acquired crosses over. You shall bring them and plant them on the mount of Your heritage,

out of Machir came down officers,
and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the scribe.

They journeyed from Rissah and camped in Kehelathah.

Tu B'Shvat
directed toward Your habitation, which You made, O Lord; the sanctuary, O Lord, [which] Your hands founded.

And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah, as was Issachar with Barak; into the valley they rushed forth with their feet.

They journeyed from Kehelathah and camped in Mount Shepher

Fourth Week of Shvat
The Lord will reign to all eternity; When Pharaoh's horses came with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea,

(But) among the divisions of Reuben, (there were) great resolves of heart.
Why do you sit between the borders,

They journeyed from Mount Shepher and camped in Haradah.

Rosh Chodesh Adar
and the Lord brought the waters of the sea back upon them; and the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea,

to hear the bleatings of the flocks?
At the divisions of Reuben, (there are) great searchings of heart.

They journeyed from Haradah and camped in Makheloth.

First Week of Adar
 Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women came out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam called out to them, Sing to the Lord, for very exalted is He; a horse and its rider He cast into the sea.
 Gilead abides beyond the Jordan; and Dan, why does he gather into the ships?

They journeyed from Makheloth and camped in Tahath.

Moses led Israel away from the Red Sea, and they went out into the desert of Shur; they walked for three days in the desert but did not find water. They came to Marah, but they could not drink water from Marah because it was bitter; therefore, it was named Marah.

Asher dwelt at the shore of the seas,
and by his breaches he abides.

They journeyed from Tahath and camped in Tarah.

Third Week of Adar
The people complained against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord instructed him concerning a piece of wood, which he cast into the water, and the water became sweet. There He gave them a statute and an ordinance, and there He tested them.

Zebulun is a people that jeopardized their lives to die, as did Naphtali, upon the high places of the field.

They journeyed from Tarah and camped in Mithkah.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan
And He said, If you hearken to the voice of the Lord, your G-d, and you do what is proper in His eyes, and you listen closely to His commandments and observe all His statutes, all the sicknesses that I have visited upon Egypt I will not visit upon you, for I, the Lord, heal you. They came to Elim, and there were twelve water fountains and seventy palms, and they encamped there by the water.
The kings came and fought;
then fought the kings of Canaan

They journeyed from Mithkah and camped in Hashmonah.

First Week of Nissan
1. They journeyed from Elim, and the entire community of the children of Israel came to the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. 2. The entire community of the children of Israel complained against Moses and against Aaron in the desert. 

in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo;
they took no gain of money.


They journeyed from Hashmonah and camped in Moseroth.

First Day of Pessach
3. The children of Israel said to them, If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat, when we ate bread to our fill! For you have brought us out into this desert, to starve this entire congregation to death. 4. So the Lord said to Moses, Behold! I am going to rain down for you bread from heaven, and the people shall go out and gather what is needed for the day, so that I can test them, whether or not they will follow My teaching.  

From heaven they fought; the stars from their courses fought against Sisera.

They journeyed from Moseroth and camped in Benei jaakan.

5. And it shall be on the sixth day that when they prepare what they will bring, it will be double of what they gather every day. 6. [Thereupon,] Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, [In the] evening, you shall know that the Lord brought you out of the land of Egypt.

The brook Kishon swept them away,
that ancient brook, the brook Kishon;

They journeyed from Benei jaakan and camped in Hor hagidgad

Fourth Week of Nissan
7. And [in the] morning, you shall see the glory of the Lord when He hears your complaints against the Lord but [of] what [significance] are we, that you make [the people] complain against us? 8. And Moses said, When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and bread in the morning [with which] to become sated, when the Lord hears your complaints, which you are making [the people] complain against Him, but [of] what [significance] are we? Not against us are your complaints, but against the Lord.

tread down, O my soul, (their) strength. Then were pounded the heels of the horses

They journeyed from Hor hagidgad and camped in Jotbathah.

Rosh Chodesh Iyar/ 5 de Iyar
9. And Moses said to Aaron, Say to the entire community of the children of Israel, Draw near before the Lord, for He has heard your complaints.  10. And it came to pass when Aaron spoke to the entire community of the children of Israel, that they turned toward the desert, and behold! the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.  

by reason of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones. 'Curse you Meroz,' said the messenger of the Lord, 'curse you bitterly (you) inhabitants thereof,'

They journeyed from Jotbathah and camped in Abronah.

Second Week of Iyar
11. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  12. I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, In the afternoon you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be sated with bread, and you shall know that I am the Lord, your G-d.

because they came not to the aid of the Lord, to the aid of the Lord against the mighty.


They journeyed from Abronah and camped in Etzion geber.

Pessach Sheini/ Lag Ba’Omer
13. It came to pass in the evening that the quails went up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14. The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare [substance] as fine as frost on the ground.  

Blessed above women shall Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, be;  above women in the tent shall she be blessed.

They journeyed from Ezion geber and camped in the desert of Zin, which is Kadesh.

Fourth Week of Iyar
15. When the children of Israel saw [it], they said to one another, It is manna, because they did not know what it was, and Moses said to them, It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16. This is the thing that the Lord has commanded, Gather of it each one according to his eating capacity, an omer for each person, according to the number of persons, each one for those in his tent you shall take. 

Water he requested, (but) milk she gave him: in a lordly bowl she brought him cream.


They journeyed from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, at the edge of the land of Edom. 

Rosh Chodesh Sivan/ Yom Yerushalayim
17. And the children of Israel did so: they gathered, both the one who gathered much and the one who gathered little. 18. And they measured [it] with an omer, and whoever gathered much did not have more, and whoever gathered little did not have less; each one according to his eating capacity, they gathered.  

She put forth her hand to the pin,
and her right hand to strike the weary;

They journeyed from Mount Hor and camped in Zalmonah. 

19. And Moses said to them, Let no one leave over [any] of it until morning. 20. But [some] men did not obey Moses and left over [some] of it until morning, and it bred worms and became putrid, and Moses became angry with them.      (Sleeping on the day of Shavuot)

she struck Sisera, pierced his head,
and wounded and penetrated his temple.

They journeyed from Zalmonah and camped in Punon.

Third Week of Sivan
21. They gathered it morning by morning, each one according to his eating capacity, and [when] the sun grew hot, it melted.   22. It came to pass on the sixth day that they gathered a double portion of bread, two omers for [each] one, and all the princes of the community came and reported [it] to Moses.

At her feet he sank, fell, lay; at her feet he sank (and) fell;

They journeyed from Punon and camped in Oboth.   
Fourth Week of Sivan
23. So he said to them, That is what the Lord spoke, Tomorrow is a rest day, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake whatever you wish to bake, and cook whatever you wish to cook, and all the rest leave over to keep until morning.   24. So they left it over until morning, as Moses had commanded, and it did not become putrid, and not a worm was in it.  

where he sank, there he fell down dead.
Through the window looked forth, the mother of Sisera [peered] through the window;

They journeyed from Oboth and camped at the ruins of Abarim, on the Moabite boundary

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
25. And Moses said, Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day [which is the] Sabbath on it there will be none 
why is his chariot late in coming? Why tarry the strides of his chariots?

They journeyed from the ruins and camped in Dibon gad.

Second Week of Tammuz
27. It came about that on the seventh day, [some] of the people went out to gather [manna], but they did not find [any]. 28. The Lord said to Moses, How long will you refuse to observe My commandments and My teachings? 

The wisest of her princesses answer her, she too returns answers to herself.

They journeyed from Dibon gad and camped in Almon diblathaimah.

12,13 of Tammuz/ 17 of Tammuz
29. See that the Lord has given you the Sabbath. Therefore, on the sixth day, He gives you bread for two days. Let each man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day. 30. So the people rested on the seventh day.
'Are they not finding (and) dividing the spoils? A damsel, two damsels to every man;

Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah

They journeyed from Almon diblathaimah and camped in the mountains of Abarim, in front of Nebo.
Fourth Week of Tammuz
31. The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, [it was] white, and it tasted like a wafer with honey. 32. Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded: Let one omerful of it be preserved for your generations, in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.  

a spoil of dyed garments to Sisera, a spoil of dyed garments of embroidery;

They journeyed from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.   They camped along the Jordan from Beth jeshimoth to Abel shittim, in the plains of Moab.  
Rosh Chodesh Av
33. And Moses said to Aaron, Take one jug and put there an omerful of manna, and deposit it before the Lord to be preserved for your generations. 34. As the Lord had commanded Moses, Aaron deposited it before the testimony to be preserved. 

dyed garments of embroidery for the neck of the spoiler.' So may perish all Your enemies, O Lord; but they that love Him (should be) as the sun when he goes forth in his might."


Tisha B'Av
35. And the children of Israel ate the manna for forty years until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.  36. The omer is one tenth of an ephah. (40 years hints to episode of the spies/Tisha B’Av)

And the land rested forty years. 1. And the children of Israel did that which displeased the Lord, and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian (for) seven years. 

Uzziah (also known as Azariah)

Tu B'Av
1. The entire community of the children of Israel journeyed from the desert of Sin to their travels by the mandate of the Lord. They encamped in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. 2. So the people quarreled with Moses, and they said, Give us water that we may drink Moses said to them, Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?  

2. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the children of Israel made for themselves the dens which are in the mountains and the caves, and the strongholds. 3. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them;
Third Week of Av

3. The people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and they said, Why have you brought us up from Egypt to make me and my children and my livestock die of thirst? 4. Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, What shall I do for this people? Just a little longer and they will stone me!  

4. and they encamped against them, and destroyed the produce of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 5. For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number; and they came into the land to destroy it.


Rosh Chodesh Elul

5. And the Lord said to Moses, Pass before the people and take with you [some] of the elders of Israel, and take into your hand your staff, with which you struck the Nile, and go.  6. Behold, I shall stand there before you on the rock in Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, and the people will drink Moses did so before the eyes of the elders of Israel.  

6. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. 7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of Midian,

First Week of Elul

7. He named the place Massah [testing] and Meribah [quarreling] because of the quarrel of the children of Israel and because of their testing the Lord, saying, Is the Lord in our midst or not? 8. Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.  
8 that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel; and he said unto them: 'Thus saith the LORD, the G-d of Israel: I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 9 and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land.

Second Week of Elul
9. So Moses said to Joshua, Pick men for us, and go out and fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of G-d in my hand. 10. Joshua did as Moses had told him, to fight against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur ascended to the top of the hill.  
10 And I said unto you: I am the LORD your G-d; ye shall not fear the G-ds of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but ye have not hearkened unto My voice.' 11 And the angel of the LORD came, and sat under the terebinth which was in Ophrah, that belonged unto Joash the Abiezrite; and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Chai Elul
11. It came to pass that when Moses would raise his hand, Israel would prevail, and when he would lay down his hand, Amalek would prevail. 12. Now Moses hands were heavy; so they took a stone and placed it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one from this [side], and one from that [side]; so he was with his hands in faith until sunset.   
12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him: 'The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.'
13 And Gideon said unto him: 'Oh, my lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all His wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying: Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian.'
2 - 22
Fourth Week of Elul/Slichot
 13. Joshua weakened Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.  14. The Lord said to Moses, Inscribe this [as] a memorial in the book, and recite it into Joshua's ears, that I will surely obliterate the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens 

14 And the LORD turned towards him, and said: 'Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian; have not I sent thee?'  15 And he said unto him: 'Oh, my lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.'
(Jehoahaz, 3 months) Jehoiakim, also known as Eliakim

23 – 44
Slichot/Rosh Hashanah
15. Then Moses built an altar, and he named it The Lord is my miracle.  16. And he said, For there is a hand on the throne of the Eternal, [that there shall be] a war for the Lord against Amalek from generation to generation.

16 And the LORD said unto him: 'Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.'  17 And he said unto him: 'If now I have found favour in thy sight, then show me a sign that it is thou that talkest with me.
(Jehoaiachin also known as Jeconiah, 3 months) Mattaniah also known as Zedekiah


45 - 66

[1] There is a parallel between Kislev and Cheshvan. The Mishkan was first completed in Kislev, but then inaugurated in Nissan. Kislev was, so to speak, deprived of a holiday. Hashem repaid Kislev, with the rededication of the Temple in the times of the Hasmoneans, as well as the holiday forever established at that time: Chanukah. Similarly, the first Temple was completed by King Solomon in Cheshvan. However, King Solomon only inaugurated it in Tishrei. Cheshvan was then also deprived of a holiday, but it will be repaid with the inauguration of the Third Temple.  The First Temple was completed in Cheshvan, inaugurated on the 8th of Tishrei, and the festivities lasted until the 22nd day of that month. It therefore appears likely that the future Third Temple holiday will extend from the 8th to the 22nd day of Cheshvan.

וידבר יוסף

Introduction to Book 3: Paths in Avodah

If the first book, like Bereshit, was about Derech Eretz, Creation (Perek Shirah) and the foundations of our people (Pirkei Avot), and the second book, like Shemot, was about receiving the Torah, this third book is like Vayikra. Sefer Vayikra is also called “Torat Kohanim.” Much of it is about the day-to-day functions of the Kohanim in the Temple, which were given this position due to their lineage going back to Aharon. It is a Book about Avodah (“Divine service”), elevating the material world through personal sacrifice, inkeeping with the spiritual above-nature quality of the priestly service and the Temple itself. The sets of 52 studied under Book 3 are as follows:

The Torah portion of Beshalach (from the fifth aliyah to the end), contains the Song of the Sea (Shirat HaYam) followed by the description of the Mannah (Parashat HaMan) and the war against Amalek (Zechirat Ma'aseh Amalek). The Torah reading is then followed by the Haftorah, the Song of Deborah (Shirat Devorah). These texts relate to the above-nature service/prayer, in response to the Divine miracles the Jewish people experienced.

The generations from Adam through David (the 33rdLag Ba’Omer generation) until the last king of Judah (52nd) describe the function of the king, who was given this position due to his Davidic lineage. Adam himself was like a king, and his Avodah was to conquer and take care of the Garden of Eden, while avoiding the pitfalls of the evil inclination.

The Talmudic tractate of Sotah is also about a service of G-d that is above nature, above intellect, a concept known as shtut d’kedusha, “folly of holiness.”

The 42 journeys through the desert and the conquest of seven (later ten) Cana’anite nations living the Land of Israel are connected to the supernal also about elevating the material world. It is said that wherever the Jewish people traveled in the desert, that part of the desert would blossom. It was about working on oneself, and elevating the fallen sparks of the world in the process (Tikkun Olam). That is what Diaspora is all about, as well as the ultimate purpose of each soul that is “exiled” from Heaven and comes down to this world.


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