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Editor's Note: What’s the Big Deal?

Dear Friend,

My nine-year-old son has an obsession with this week’s Torah portion, Massei. You see, the Torah is chanted in public using a special tune, read from cantillation marks (known as trope). Now, two of the rarest cantillations (named karnei-farah and yerach-ben-yomo) are found exclusively in this week’s Parshah.

Oddly enough, the words to which these marks are set seem fairly dry and routine. In discussing the forty-eight cities to be set aside in Israel for the Levites, the Torah outlines the exact radial measurements for the boundaries of these cities. What is so exciting about that, so dramatic, that warrants such a shrill note?

Perhaps this is what the Torah is hinting to us: Every inch of the Land of Israel is a big deal. We must calculate and measure it, defend and protect it. It is a gift from G‑d, and should be treated with utmost care.

That’s my take. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Wishing our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land safety, security and strength as they battle for their survival in our precious homeland.

Moshe Rosenberg,
on behalf of the Team

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