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Shabbat Chol Chamoed – 5th Day of Passover ~ 5774
This is the portion following the sin of the golden calf wherein Moshe pleads on behalf of the People. G-d agrees to forgive the people and Moshe smashes the Luchot, destroys the Golden Calf, and castigates the people. Three thousand Israelites guilty of idolatry are killed.
Moshe asks for a greater knowledge and intimacy with G-d. G-d gives Moshe a greater glimpse of His Essence than He had previously shown anyone before. Then G-d commands Moshe to cut a new set of tablets and He will engrave as He had previously done with the first set.
We read about the 13 Divine Attributes, which is followed by a summary of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals. The portion ends with the prohibition of eating meat & milk mixtures.
MAFTIR Numbers 28:19-25 ~ page 695
HAFTORAH Ezekiel 37:1-14:16 page 1015
Ezekiel’s famous vision of the Valley of Dry Bones conceptualizes the basic theme of the Passover season: rebirth. Looking over a valley filled with human remains, the Prophet is challenged to try and prophesize in front of them. No sooner does he try that the bones reanimate, as flesh, ligament and skin reform. The rabbis’ decision to chant this haftarah is the basis for the mystical tradition that the Resurrection of the Dead will occur on Passover.