16th January 19:55
Emor (fasting shofar thanksgiving history offerings)
THE TANACH STUDY CENTER [http://www.tanach.org]
In Memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag
Shiurim in Chumash & Navi by Menachem Leibtag
What is a 'mo'ed'?
Most of us would answer - a Jewish holiday [i.e. a 'yom-
tov'.Most English Bibles translate mo'ed - a fixed time.]
However, earlier in Chumash, the Hebrew word 'chag' was
used to describe the Holidays (e.g. see Shmot 12:14, 13:6,
23:16). So why does Parshat Emor prefer the word mo'ed
instead? [See 23:2,4,37,44.]
Furthermore, it is just by chance that the same Hebrew
word mo'ed is also used to describe the Mishkan, i.e. the
'Ohel MO'ED'? [See Vayikra 1:1, Shmot 30:34 etc.]
In this week's shiur, we attempt to answer these
questions by taking a closer look at Vayikra chapter 23.
Before we begin, a little background concerning the
nature of the Biblical calendar. Even though we commonly
refer to the Jewish calendar as 'lunar', in Chumash, we find
the use of both 'solar' and 'lunar' dates.
The solar calendar in Chumash corresponds to the seasons
of the agricultural year ('tkufot ha-shana'): spring = 'aviv'
(see Shmot 13:3 & 23:14), and autumn = 'be-tzeit ha-shana'
(see Shmot 23:16 & Devarim 11:12). The lunar calendar is
based on the monthly cycle of the moon. These two calendars
are correlated by the periodic addition of an 'extra' month to
assure that the FIRST month of the lunar year will always
correspond with the spring equinox (see Shmot 12:1-2).
Even though Parshat Emor discusses all of the Jewish
holidays, these same holidays are also discussed in the other
books of Chumash as well:
* in Sefer Shmot: Parshat Mishpatim (23:14-17)
& Ki Tisa (34:23);
* in Sefer Bamidbar: Parshat Pinchas (chapters 28-29);
* in Sefer Devarim: Parshat Re'eh (chapter 16).
However, within these four 'parshiot' we find two
distinct sets of holidays:
A) The 'SHALOSH REGALIM'
i.e.- chag ha-Matzot, Shavu'ot, & Sukkot;
B) The 'YAMIM NORA'IM'
i.e.- Rosh ha-Shana, Yom Kippur & Shmini Atzeret.
Sefer Shmot and Sefer Devarim discuss ONLY the shalosh
regalim, while Sefer Vayikra and Sefer Bamidbar discuss both
the shalosh regalim AND the yamim nora'im.
At first glance this 'multiple presentation' of the
chagim in FOUR different books of the Chumash appears to be
superfluous. After all, would it not have been more logical
for the Torah to present ALL of these laws together in ONE
parsha (and in ONE Sefer)?
However, since the Torah does present the holidays in
four different 'sefarim', we can safely assume that there must
be something special about each presentation, and that each
relates to the primary theme of its respective 'sefer'.
Even though our shiur will focus on the chagim in Emor,
we must begin our study with the chagim in Parshat Mishpatim,
for that 'parshia' contains the first mention of the SHALOSH
REGALIM in Chumash.
[As the shiur is very textual (more than usual), it is
recommended that you follow it with a Tanach at hand.]
THE SHALOSH REGALIM IN PARSHAT MISHPATIM
Let's take a quick look at Shmot 23:14-17, noting how the
shalosh regalim are first presented:
"Three times a year celebrate to Me:
(1) Keep CHAG HA-MATZOT, eat matza... at the mo'ed
[appointed time] in the SPRING [when you went out of Egypt]...
(2) and a CHAG KATZIR [a grain HARVEST holiday] for the
first- fruits of what you have sown in your field,
(3) and a CHAG HA-ASIF [a fruit gathering holiday] at the
conclusion of the [agricultural] year...
"Three times a years, each male should come to be seen by
God..." (see Shmot 23:14-17).
Note how these three holidays are described ONLY by the
agricultural time of year in which they are celebrated
(without any mention of the specific lunar date):
Chag ha-Matzot: 'ba-aviv' - in the SPRING;
Chag ha-Katzir: the wheat harvest - in the early SUMMER;
Chag ha-Asif: the fruit harvest - in the AUTUMN.
Note as well (in 23:17) that the primary mitzva
associated with each of these three holidays is 'aliya la-
regel' - to be seen by God [i.e. by visiting Him at the
mishkan / mikdash].
[A very similar presentation is found in Parshat Ki Tisa
(see Shmot 34:18-26), recorded after Moshe Rabbeinu received
the second luchot. However, that repetition is necessary
due to the events of 'chet ha-egel' (see TSC shiur on Ki
THE SHALOSH REGALIM IN PARSHAT RE'EH
In Sefer Devarim (see 16:1-17) we find a very similar
presentation, although a bit more detailed. As you review
that chapter, note that once again:
* Only the SHALOSH REGALIM are presented
* Only their agricultural dates are cited, and
* The primary mitzva is "aliya la-regel".
However, this unit adds two important details that were
not mentioned in Parshat Mishpatim:
1) WHERE the mitzva of aliya l'regel is to take place, i.e.
'ba-makom asher yivchar Hashem...' - at the site that God
will choose to have His Name dwell there.
2) that we must REJOICE on these holidays - not only with
our own family, but also with the less fortunate, such as
the stranger, the orphan, the widow etc. (see 16:11,14).
The Torah demands that when we celebrate and thank God
for the bounty of our harvest, we must invite the less
fortunate to join us.
It is not coincidental that the Torah chose to use the
solar calendar in its presentation of the SHALOSH REGALIM.
Clearly, the Torah's intention is that we must thank God
during these three critical times of the agricultural year:
(1) when nature 'comes back to life' in the spring
(2) at the conclusion of the wheat harvest (SHAVU'OT)
(3) at the conclusion of the fruit harvest (SUKKOT)
In contrast to these two parshiot (in Mishpatim & Re'eh),
when the Torah presents both sets of the chagim in EMOR
(Vayikra 23) and PINCHAS (Bamidbar 28->29), it employs a lunar
calendar as well. As you review these two units, note how
each chag is introduced with its precise month and day.
THE CHAGIM IN PINCHAS
Before we begin our study of Emor, we should note that
Parshat Pinchas focuses on one primary topic - i.e. the
details of the korban MUSSAF - the 'additional' sacrifice
offered (in the bet ha-mikdash) on each holiday. That unit
(i.e. Bamidbar chapters 28 & 29) opens with the laws of the
daily "tamid" offering, then continues with the weekly and
monthly 'additional' offerings on Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh.
Afterward, it details the 'additional' offerings that are
brought on the holidays.
[Note that the 'maftir' reading on each holiday is taken
from this 'parsha', and we quote from it in every tefillat
Let's summarize what we have discussed thus far:
* Sifrei Shmot and Devarim present the shalosh regalim in
relation to their common purpose as a time for aliya la-regel
during the critical times of the agricultural (solar) year.
* Parshat Pinchas details the specific korban mussaf of
each chag (according to the lunar date of the holidays).
We have also noted how each of these units are presented
as an integral part of a wider theme in each Sefer:
* In Parshat Mishpatim - as part of laws pertaining to
'social justice', and hence their thematic connection to the
psukim that precede them in Shmot 23:6-12.
[See TSC shiur on Parshat Mishpatim.]
* In Parshat Re'eh - in the context of the primary topic of
chapters 12 thru 17, i.e. 'ha-makom asher yivchar Hashem'.
[See TSC shiur on Parshat Re'eh.]
* In Parshat Pinchas - as part of the laws of tmidim u-
[See TSC shiur on Parshat Pinchas.]
In contrast to these units, Parshat Emor could be
considered the Torah's primary presentation of the chagim, for
it describes a unique mitzva of each holiday.
THE CHAGIM IN PARSHAT EMOR
Review Vayikra 23:1-44, noting how this unit includes a
UNIQUE mitzva for each holiday:
Chag ha-Matzot - the special OMER offering (from barely);
Shavu'ot - the special SHTEI HA-LECHEM offering (wheat);
Rosh ha-Shana - YOM TERU'A - blowing the shofar;
Yom Kippur - fasting;
Sukkot - sitting in the SUKKA.
and the ARBA MINIM (lulav and etrog etc.).
However, we must make special note of how these laws are
presented, and the dates that are used.
Parshat Emor, like Pinchas, presents the chagim in order
of their LUNAR dates (month/day). Nevertheless, Emor is
different! As the following table shows, when introducing the
special mitzva to be performed in the mikdash on each of the
SHALOSH REGALIM, the agricultural season (i.e. the SOLAR date)
is mentioned as well!
CHAG HA-MATZOT - mitzvat ha-OMER
"When you enter the Land... and HARVEST the grain, you must
bring the OMER - the FIRST HARVEST to the kohen (23:10);
SHAVU'OT - mitzvat SHTEI HA-LECHEM
"... count SEVEN WEEKS [from when the first grain becomes
ripe], then... you shall bring a NEW flour offering..."
SUKKOT - the ARBA MINIM
"On the 15th day of the 7th month WHEN YOU GATHER THE
PRODUCE OF THE LAND... and you shall take on the first day a
'hadar' fruit..." (see 23:39).
In fact, look carefully and you'll notice that Parshat
Emor presents the agricultural aspect of each of the shalosh
For example, the agricultural mitzva to bring the korban
'ha-omer' and the 'shtei ha-lechem' is presented in a separate
'dibbur' (see 23:9-22) that makes no mention at all of the
lunar date! Similarly, the mitzva of the arba minim in 23:39-
41 is presented independently, and AFTER the mitzva CHAG HA-
SUKKOT is first presented in 23:33-38. [To verify this,
compare these two sections carefully!]
Why is the structure of Emor so complicated? Shouldn't
the Torah employ one standard set of dates and explain all the
mitzvot for each holiday together?
To answer this question, we must first take a closer look
at the internal structure of Vayikra chapter 23.
THE COMMON MITZVOT
Even though Parshat Emor presents the special mitzvot of
each holiday, it also presents some common mitzvot for all the
Review chapter 23 and note the pattern. Each holiday is:
1) first introduced by its lunar date;
2) a statement that this MO'ED is a MIKRA KODESH;
3) work is prohibited ('kol melechet avoda lo ta'asu");
4) a korban is to be offered ('ve-hikravtem isheh l-
To verify this, note the following psukim:
CHAG HA-MATZOT / 23:6-8
ROSH HA-SHANA / 23:25
YOM KIPPUR / 23:27-28
SUKKOT & SHMINI ATZERET / 23:33-36
[Note that in regard to SHAVU'OT (see 23:21), a lunar date
and the phrase 've-hikravtem' is missing! See TSC shiur on
Therefore, in relation to the LUNAR date, Parshat Emor
requires that on each holiday the nation must gather together
[= 'mikra kodesh'], refrain from physical labor [= 'kol
melechet avoda lo ta'asu'], and offer a special korban mussaf
[= ve-hikravtem isheh l-Hashem"], as detailed in Parshat
However, within this same unit, we also find that the
shalosh regalim are presented INDEPENDENTLY - with a solar
date, within the context of its agricultural mitzva.
If we take a closer look at those psukim, we'll also
notice that in each instance the concept of a SHABBAT or
SHABBATON is mentioned in conjunction with the special
agricultural mitzva [i.e. OMER, SHTEI HA-LECHEM & ARBA MINIM]
of each holiday .
Furthermore, we also find the use of the word SHABBATON
in the presentation of ROSH HA-SHANA and YOM KIPPUR as well!
Finally, note the detail of the mitzvot relating to
SHABBATON always conclude with the phrase: "chukat olam le-
doroteichem [be-chol moshvoteichem]", see 23:14,21,31,41!
The following chart summarizes this second pattern in
which the word SHABBAT or SHABBATON is mentioned in relation
to each holiday:
Chag ha-MATZOT - 'mi-mochorat ha-SHABBAT' (23:11)
SHAVU'OT - 'ad mi-mochorat ha-SHABBAT ha-shvi'it...' (23:16)
ROSH ha-SHANA - "SHABBATON, zichron tru'a..." (23:24)
YOM KIPPUR - 'SHABBAT SHABBATON hi lachem...' (23:32)
SUKKOT & - 'ba-yom ha-rishon SHABBATON... (23:39)
SHMINI ATZERET - u-bayom ha-shmini SHABBATON' (23:39).
Note also that within this parsha, the SHABBAT /
agricultural aspect is first introduced by a separate dibbur:
"And God spoke to Moshe saying... When you ENTER THE LAND
that I am giving you REAP ITS HARVEST, you shall bring the
OMER - the first sheaf of your harvest to God. This OMER
shall be waived in front of God... on the day after SHABBAT
the kohen shall waive it...." (23:9-14).
The most striking example of this 'double pattern' is found
in the psukim that describe Sukkot. Note how the Torah first
introduces this holiday as a MIKRA KODESH by its lunar date:
"On the 15th day of the 7th month Chag Sukkot seven days: on
the first day there shall be a MIKRA KODESH... and on the
eighth day a MIKRA KODESH..." (23:35-36).
[As this is the last MO'ED, the next pasuk summarizes all
of the chagim: 'eileh mo'adei Hashem...' (23:37-38)].
Then, in a very abrupt fashion, AFTER summarizing the
mo'adim, the Torah returns to Sukkot again, but now calls it a
" 'ACH' - on the 15th day of the seventh month, when you
GATHER THE HARVEST OF YOUR FIELD, you shall celebrate for
seven days, on the first day - a SHABBATON, and on the
eighth day - a SHABBATON" (23:39).
Hence, it appears from Parshat Emor that each holiday is
treated as both a mo'ed (in relation to mikra kodesh, 'issur
melacha', & ve-hikravtem) AND as a 'shabbaton' (in relation to
its special mitzva).
A DOUBLE 'HEADER'
Let's take a look now at the introductory psukim of this
entire unit (i.e. 23:1-3), for they appear to allude as well
to the double nature of this presentation.
First of all, note how the opening psukim of chapter 23
appear to contradict each other:
* "And God told Moshe, tell Bnei Yisrael... These are the
MO'ADEI Hashem (fixed times), which YOU shall call MIKRA'EI
KODESH (a sacred gathering) - these are the MO'ADIM".
* SIX days work may be done, but the SEVENTH day shall be a
SHABBAT SHABBATON 'mikra kodesh'...
* THESE are the 'MO'ADEI HASHEM'...:
On the 14th day of the first month - Pesach
On the 15th day of the first month - chag ha-matzot...
Should SHABBAT be considered one of the MO'ADIM?
If yes, why does pasuk 4 repeat the header 'eileh moadei
If not, why is SHABBAT mentioned at all in the first
Furthermore, there appears to be two types of 'mikra'ei
kodesh' in Parshat Emor.
(1) MO'ADIM - those that Bnei Yisrael declare: "asher tikre'u
otam [that YOU shall call] - mikra'ei kodesh" (23:2)
(2) SHABBAT - that God has set aside to be a 'mikra kodesh'
(read 23:3 carefully!).
This distinction, and the repetition of the header 'eileh
mo'adei Hashem' in 23:4, indicate the first three psukim could
be considered a 'double' header: i.e MO'ADIM and SHABBATONIM.
As the unit progresses, this 'double header' reflects the
double presentation of chagim in this entire unit, as
discussed above. In regard to the shalosh regalim, the
SHABBATON aspect is presented separately. In regard to Rosh ha-
Shana and Yom Kippur, the SHABBATON aspect is included in the
'lunar' MIKRA KODESH presentation.
[In regard to the agricultural nature of Rosh ha-Shana and
Yom Kippur, see TSC shiur on Rosh ha-Shana.]
What is the meaning of the double nature of this
presentation? Why does Parshat Emor relate to both the lunar
and solar calendars? One could suggest the following
THE AGRICULTURAL ASPECT
As mentioned above, Parshat Emor details a special
agricultural related mitzva for each of the shalosh regalim:
The korban ha-omer- from the first BARLEY harvest.
The korban shtei ha-lechem, from the first WHEAT harvest.
Taking the arba minim, the four species -
[i.e. the lulav, etrog, hadas and arava]
These mitzvot relate directly to the agricultural seasons
in Eretz Yisrael in which these holidays fall. In the spring,
barley is the first grain crop to become ripe. During the
next seven weeks, the wheat crop ripens and is harvested. As
this is the only time of the year when wheat grows in Eretz
Yisrael, these seven weeks are indeed a critical time, for the
grain which will be consumed during the entire year is
harvested during this very short time period.
Similarly, the ARBA MINIM, which are brought to the
mikdash on Sukkot, also relate to the agricultural importance
of the fruit harvest ('pri etz hadar ve-kapot tmarim') at this
time of the year, and the need for water in the forthcoming
rainy season ('arvei nachal').
Therefore, specifically when the Torah relates to these
agricultural mitzvot, these holidays are referred to as
SHABBATONIM for the concept of shabbat relates to the DAYS of
the week, and thus, to the cycle of nature caused by the sun,
i.e. the agricultural seasons of the year. They also relate
to the natural cycle of the sun. [Recall that the 365 day
cycle of the earth revolving around the sun causes the
As these holidays are celebrated during the most critical
times of the agricultural year, the Torah commands us to
gather at this time of the year in the bet ha-mikdash and
offer special korbanot from our harvest. Instead of relating
these phenomena of nature to a pantheon of gods, as the
Canaanite people did, Am Yisrael must recognize that it is
God's hand behind nature and therefore, we must thank Him for
[This challenge - to find God while working and living
within the framework of nature - is reflected in the
blessing we make over bread: 'ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz'.
Even though we perform 99% of work in the process of making
bread (e.g. sowing, reaping, winnowing, grinding, kneading,
baking etc.), we thank God as though He had given us bread
directly from the ground!]
THE HISTORICAL HOLIDAYS
Even though these agricultural mitzvot alone provides
sufficient reason to celebrate these holidays, the Torah finds
HISTORICAL significance in these seasonal holidays as well.
The spring commemorates our redemption from Egypt. The
grain harvest coincides with the time of Matan Torah. During
the fruit harvest we recall our supernatural existence in the
desert under the 'ananei kavod' (clouds of God's glory) in the
Just as the Torah employs to the SOLAR date of the chagim
in relation to the agricultural mitzvot, the Torah also
employs the LUNAR date of these chagim in relation to their
historical significance. For example, when describing Chag ha-
Matzot, which commemorates the historical event of Yetziat
Mitzrayim, the lunar date of the 15th day of the first month
is used (23:6). Similarly, when the Torah refers to Sukkot as
a mikra kodesh, it employs solely the lunar date and
emphasizes the mitzva of sitting in the sukka, in
commemoration of our dwelling in sukkot during our journey
through the desert (see 23:34-35,43).
One could suggest that specifically the lunar calendar is
used in relation to the historical aspect, for we count the
MONTHS in commemoration of our Exodus from Egypt, the most
momentous event in our national history:
"Ha-chodesh ha-zeh lachem ROSH CHODASHIM..." This month (in
which you are leaving Egypt) will be for you the FIRST
month... (see Shmot 12:1-3).
REDEMPTION IN THE SPRING
From the repeated emphasis in Chumash that we celebrate
our redemption from Egypt in the early spring ('chodesh ha-
aviv' / see Shmot 13:2-4 and Devarim 16:1-2), it would appear
that it was not incidental that the Exodus took place at that
time. Rather, God desired that our national birth take place
at the same time of year when the growth cycle of nature
recommences. [For a similar reason, it would appear that God
desired that Bnei Yisrael enter the Promised Land in the first
month of the spring (see Yehoshua 4:19 & 5:10).]
One could suggest that the celebration of our national
redemption specifically in the spring emphasizes its proper
meaning. Despite its importance, our freedom attained at
Yetziat Mitzrayim should be understood as only the INITIAL
stage of our national spiritual 'growth', just as the spring
marks only the initial stage in the growth process of nature!
Just as the blossoming of nature in the spring leads to the
grain harvest in the early summer and fruit harvest in the
late summer, so too our national freedom must lead to the
achievement of higher goals in our national history.
Thus, counting seven weeks from chag ha-matzot until chag
ha-shavu'ot (sfirat ha-omer) emphasizes that Shavu'ot
(commemorating the Giving of the Torah) should be considered
the culmination of the process that began at Yetziat
Mitzrayim, just as the grain harvest is the culmination of its
growth process that began in the spring.
[One would expect that this historical aspect of Shavu'ot,
i.e. Matan Torah, should also be mentioned in Parshat Emor.
For some reason, it is not. We will deal with this issue
iy"H in our shiur on Shavu'ot.]
By combining the two calendars, the Torah teaches us that
during the critical times of the agricultural year we must not
only thank God for His providence over nature but we must also
thank Him for His providence over our history. In a
polytheistic society, these various attributes were divided
among many gods. In an atheistic society, man fails to see
God in either. The double nature of the chagim emphasizes
this tenet that God is not only the Force behind nature, but
He also guides the history of nations.
Man must recognize God's providence in all realms of his
daily life; by recognizing His hand in both the unfolding of
our national history and through perceiving His greatness as
He is the power behind all the phenomena of nature.
In conclusion, we can now return to our original
question, i.e. why does specifically Sefer Vayikra describe
these holidays as MO'ADIM?
The Hebrew word mo'ed stems from the root
'vav.ayin.daled' - to meet. [That's why a committee in Hebrew
is a 'va'ad', and a conference is a 've'ida'. See also Shmot
29:42-43 and Amos 3:3. Finally, note Breishit 1:14!]
The mishkan is called an OHEL MO'ED - a tent of meeting -
for in that tent Bnei Yisrael [symbolically] 'meet' God. In a
similar manner, the Jewish holidays are called MO'ADIM, for
their primary purpose is that we set aside special times
during the year to MEET God. Clearly, in Parshat Emor, the
Torah emphasizes the 'bein adam la-Makom' [between God and
man] aspect of the holidays. Not only do we perform the
mitzva of aliya la-regel, we also perform a wide range of
special mitzvot that occupy our entire day during those
[See Sefer Kuzari ma'amar revi'i in relation to the
As we explained in last week's shiur, this is the essence
of KEDUSHA - the theme of Sefer Vayikra. We set aside special
times, and infuse them with special KEDUSHA to come closer to
Hashem. However, our experience during these holidays
provides us with the spiritual strength to remain close to God
during the remainder of the year.
FOR FURTHER IYUN
A. WHY IN VAYIKRA?
Why is this parsha that describes the special mitzvot of
all the chagim located specifically in Sefer Vayikra?
Based on last week's shiur, we can suggest an answer. We
explained that the second half of Vayikra 'translates' the
concentrated level of the Shchina dwelling in the mishkan to
norms of behavior in our daily life in the 'aretz' (into the
realms of kedushat ha-aretz and kedushat zman, and kedushat
Makom). The special agricultural mitzvot of the chagim are a
manifestation of how the kedusha of the mishkan affects our
daily life. By bringing these special korbanot from our
harvest, the toils of our daily labor, to the beit ha-mikdash
we remind ourselves of God's Hand in nature and in the routine
of our daily life.
B. Does the mitzva of sukka relate to historical aspect
(yetziat Mitzrayim) or to the agricultural aspect (temporary
booths built by the farmers in the field collecting the
harvest) - or both?
1. Use the two psukim which describe Sukkot (23:34,42-43) to
base you answer. [Relate also to Sukka 11b, sukka keneged
ananei kavod or sukkot mamash.]
2. Note also the use of 'chukat olam be-chol moshvoteichem' -
see 23:14,21,31 in relation to Shabbaton. Note also 23:3!
Now note 23:41, based on the above pattern, what word is
Now look at pasuk 23:42 - "be-sukkot TEISHVU..."!
Can you explain now why 'that word' is missing in 23:41?
3. Why is the word 'ezrach' used in 23:42? Relate to Shmot
[How does 'moshvoteichem' relate to the word shabbat?]
C. Chagei Tishrei and agriculture:
We noted earlier that Parshat Emor also included chagei
Tishrei, and each is referred to as a shabbaton, as well as a
As explained in our shiur on Rosh HaShana, these three
holidays, Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Shmini Atzeret, relate
to the forthcoming year. A new agricultural year is about to
begin, and we must recognize that its fate is not a function
of chance or the whims of a pantheon of gods, rather a result
of our acceptance of God's kingdom and the observance of His
[Note from Parshat Pinchas, that these three chagim share a
common and unique korban mussaf! (1-1-7/1)
Note also that Sukkot stands at the agricultural crossroads of
last year's harvest and next year's rainy season. Thus, we
say Hallel in thanksgiving for the previous year, and say
'Hoshanot' in anticipation of the forthcoming year.]
D. The sun, we explained, relates to the agricultural aspects
of chagim, while the moon to its historical aspect.
1. Relate this to the waxing and waning feature of the moon
and God's hashagacha over our history.
2. Relate this to the concept of 'hester panim'.
3. Relate this to the fact that Sukkot and Pesach fall out on
the 15th day of the lunar month (full moon), while Rosh
Hashana -yom din- falls on the first of the month (be-keseh le-
4. Relate this to the concept and korbanot of Rosh Chodesh.
5. Why do you suppose that the sun serves a symbol of
E. Note the emphasis on the number 'seven' throughout this
parsha. How and why does the number seven relate to the solar
calendar, and the agricultural holidays. Relate your answer
to the first perek of Sefer Breishit and Shabbat!
F. Why are the mitzvot of aliya la-regel emphasized in Sefer
A theme in the second half of the Shmot is the function
of the mishkan as a perpetuation of Har Sinai. Aliya la-
regel, a national gathering at the mishkan on the holidays,
can re-enact certain aspects of Ma'amad Har Sinai.
G. Compare carefully 23:1-4 to Shmot 35:1-4 and notice the
amazing parallel!. How does this enhance your understanding
of this parsha, shabbat, and of the mishkan?]
See Ramban on 23:1-2!