The sidrah known as Matot (Num. 30:2–36:13) follows very dramatic episodes concerning the apparent grace and goodness of the Children of Israel (Balaam’s praises) as well as their depravity (idolatry at Baal-peor). Like the apostasy of the golden calf which occurred immediately after the revelations at Sinai, future promise was imperilled for the diversions of the moment. In both cases, the guilty are killed by God and then the Israelites continue their protracted journey towards the Promised Land.
The views expressed in this D’var Torah do not necessarily reflect the position of Leo Baeck College.