Studies in Torah

Parashat Beha’alotecha (בהעלתך): Numbers 8–12

As the Torah reading בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ Beha’alotcha (“when you raise up” [the lamps]) begins, the menorah and the Levites are dedicated to God’s service, and the Tabernacle is ready for business.

However, this reading is permeated with all sorts of ingratitude and complaining, from the people complaining about the manna to Miriam and Aaron complaining about Moses. God doesn’t put up with any of it. Whether it’s sending down a consuming fire or a plague, God doesn’t put up with people grumbling about His provision.

The traditional parallel reading (haftarah) for Beha’alotecha is Zech. 2:14-4:7.

Beha’alotecha discussions

Numbers 8–12: The LORD calls, but will we answer?

Numbers 8–9

Numbers 8: Levites are sanctified in place of the first-born

Numbers 8-9: ‘Second Passover’; purification of Levites as Israel’s new ‘firstborn’

Numbers 9: ‘Second-chance Pesach’ and being covered by the Cloud

Numbers 10–11

Numbers 10:1-13: Two silver trumpets and the Messiah

Numbers 10:11-36: When God says move, you move

Numbers 10-11: Two silver trumpets; curse of craving quail; distributing the Spirit from Moshe

Numbers 11: Everyone likes to complain sometimes, even Moshe

Numbers 12

Numbers 12: Lift yourself up and be cast down

Numbers 12-13: Aaron and Miriam ‘speak evil’ against Moses; spies ‘speak evil’ against the Land


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