This week's 10-Minute Torah (April 3, 2021): "Parashat Pesach" 5781

Updated: Apr 2

Parashat Pesach

This week is Passover. Besides a special portion for the Shabbat that occurs during Passover, we have Torah readings for each of the Intermediate Days of the Festival as well.

Pesach VII / פֶּסַח יוֹם ז׳ (on Shabbat)

Torah Portion: Exodus 13:17-15:26; Numbers 28:19-28:25

This special portion recounts the Israelites passing through the Sea of Reeds. After the Israelites left Egypt and the House of Bondage, Pharaoh regretted letting them leave. He got his fiercest charioteers and chased them to bring them back. The Children of Israel approached the Sea and saw the Egyptians chasing them from afar and were worried that they were blocked from escaping and would be killed. They now regretted leaving.

Hashem reassured Moses and told him to hold up his staff. Hashem put a pillar of cloud between the Children of Israel and the pursuing Egyptians that prevented them from advancing. Throughout the night, the Sea of Reeds split open and the ground beneath the sea hardened allowing the Children of Israel to pass through in safety.

Once they were through, the pillar disappeared. The Egyptians pursed the Israelites into the Sea. Once the Children of Israelites were completely through to the other side, Hashem closed up the sea and all the Egyptian soldiers drowned.

As the Children of Israel beheld that sight, they celebrated. Moses sang the Song of the Sea, the Shir HaYam that we also recite every Pesukai D’Zimra in our morning Shachrit service. Miriam the prophetess then led the women in dancing and praising Hashem.

Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 1 / פֶּסַח חוֹל הַמוֹעֵד יוֹם א׳

Torah Portion: Exodus 13:1-13:16

In the first intermediate day of Passover, G-d tells Moses to consecrate every first born to him. We are reminded how the Israelite first-born were spared by the destroyer in Egypt. We are told that when we reach the promised land, we will celebrate this as a seven-day feast and eat no leavened products. It also sets the stage for the seder that when our children will ask what does it mean, we shall answer that with a mighty hand, G-d freed us. We shall answer, behold with His Mighty Hand the Lord our G-d freed us from bondage of the house of slavery.

Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 2 / פֶּסַח חוֹל הַמוֹעֵד יוֹם ב׳

Torah Portion: Exodus 22:24-23:19

We here are given laws to obey when we enter the land. Some of the laws are to be fair when taking loans and not keep a person’s clothing overnight as a pledge, but give it back so that they can be comfortable. We are to consecrate the first-born of our children and our beasts. We are not to engage in false rumors and mete out justice fairly.

Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 3 / פֶּסַח חוֹל הַמוֹעֵד יוֹם ג׳

Torah Portion: Exodus 34:1-34:26

This is the portion where Moses returns to Mount Sinai to receive the second set of Ten Commandments. Hashem instructs Moses to make two stone tablets line the first and will once again inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets which Moses broke when seeing the Golden Calf. G-d also tells Moses the thirteen attributes. These are given after the affair of the Golden Calf, so these are recited during times of fasting and repentance.

Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 4 / פֶּסַח חוֹל הַמוֹעֵד יוֹם ד׳

Torah Portion: Numbers 9:1-28:25

This discusses the terms of the Passover sacrifice, the Pascal Lamb. It is to be offered in the first month of the Spring (now Nisan) on the eve of the 15th day. If someone is unclean due to being in contact with a corpse (helping to bury the dead), then they can not partake. Instead, they will observe a second special Passover in the second month (not named here) on the eve of the fourteenth day. Anyone who purposely fails to observe this sacrifice will be cut off from their people.

Pesach VIII/ פֶּסַח יוֹם ח׳

Sunday, 4 April 2021 / 22 Nisan 5781

Domingo 4 de abril de 2021/22 de Nisan 5781

Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17; Numbers 28:19-28:25

Porción de la Torá: Deuteronomio 15: 19-16: 17; Números 28: 19-28: 25

This special Torah portion commands the Children of Israel to consecrate the first born of their flocks to Hashem as an offering. They shall not have any blemishes or defects. Pour out the blood and eat it before the Lord.

Esta porción especial de la Torá ordena a los Hijos de Israel consagrar al

primogénito de sus rebaños a Hashem como ofrenda. No deberán presentar

imperfecciones ni defectos. Derrama la sangre y cómela delante del Señor.

The portion then discusses the various pilgrimage festivals starting with observing the Passover in the month of Aviv. This is now called “Nisan” and starts the secular

calendar in the spring. We are thus commanded not to eat any leavened products.

La porción luego analiza los diversos festivales de peregrinación comenzando

con la observación de la Pascua en el mes de Aviv. Esto ahora se llama "Nisan"

y comienza el calendario secular en la primavera. Por lo tanto, se nos ordena no

comer ningún producto con levadura.

It then discusses the Feast of Weeks. We are to count seven weeks to Shavuot. We

are then to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, which is Sukkot, for seven days (eight in the diaspora).

Luego analiza la Fiesta de las Semanas. Debemos contar siete semanas hasta

Shavuot. Entonces debemos guardar la Fiesta de los Tabernáculos, que es

Sucot, durante siete días (ocho en la diáspora).

Finally, three times a year, all the males are to appear before the Lord in the place the

Lord will choose.

Finalmente, tres veces al año, todos los varones deben presentarse ante el

Señor en el lugar que el Señor elija.

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