Beha’alotekha – Perasha Synopsis

The Perasha begins with the lighting of the Menorah by Aharon the Cohen as part of the Tabernacle inauguration. The Levites are then consecrated, and assigned their tasks and responsibilities.

As the upcoming first anniversary of Pesah approached Hashem explains to Moshe the Pesah offering in the desert, and the concept of Pesah Sheni, a date set for one month later on the 14th of Iyar, to celebrate Pesah for those not able to offer the sacrifice on the proper day.

As Bene Yisrael traveled through the desert, the Tabernacle travelled with them. By day a cloud covered the Tabernacle, by night a fire. Whenever the cloud lifted Bene Yisrael knew to move, when it reappeared they set up their camp. Hashem also instructs Moshe to make two trumpets of silver, to summon the assembly and to start a journey. There He describes different blasts for different actions and gatherings.

Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law prepares to return to his land – Midian. Moshe invites his father in law to journey with Bene Yisrael and be part of their conquest of the land of Israel. Yitro declines the invitation and bids farewell to Moshe, his family and Bene Israel. Each time Bene Yisrael moved campsites, the Ark of the Covenant would journey three days prior to seek out a new destination.

The infamous incident of the “Complainers” takes place. Bene Yisrael complained about the food in the desert and how they missed the food they were given in Egypt. They were dissatisfied with the Manna.  Hashem becomes angry at their complaints, and Moshe despairs, and in response Hashem appoints 70 men to assist Moshe in governing the people.  Hashem’s response to Bene Yisrael is to give them an abundance of meat for a month until they become nauseated and they say enough. The Perasha concludes with the affliction of leprosy upon Miriam the sister of Aharon for speaking against her brother Moshe for marrying a Cushite woman.

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