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Words of the Parashah - Masei

Hebrew Word of the Week

Based on the Weekly Torah Portion


The Hebrew word of the week is massa, a noun that means "breaking camp," or "pulling out." The plural construct form of this noun appears in Parashat Masei, in Numbers 33:1:

Numbers 33:1 (BHS)

These were the marches of the Israelites who started out from the land of Egypt, troop by troop, in the charge of Moses and Aaron. (Numbers 33:1)

Related Words:

The word massa derives from the root nasa, a verb which means to set out in stages, as the Israelites "set out from the wilderness of Tzin by stages"(Exodus 17:1). Parashat Masei records the itinerary of Israel's marches "stage by stage... according to their starting places" (Numbers 33:1-2).

Related Words

Scripture Passage:

Exodus 40:36 (BHS)

Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. (Exodus 40:36)

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