Parsha Matot (Numbers 30:2 through chapter 32) begins with the topic, and what “YHVH has commanded,” concerning vows. And, as Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship has suggested literally every time it’s taught, it is in his opinion one of the most vital foundations for understanding marriage. As well what has been done to it.

But this year, in the context of a nation, and a world, where duplicity has replaced integrity in virtually every public forum, at minimum, there’s even more here to pay careful attention to.

This time, the Erev Shabbat reading is the very heart of the story:

This week we saw still more graphic illustrations of men who put their hands on a Bible and lie. It’s not just that in SO many cases a “man’s word is NOT his bond” any more, it’s that we have gotten so inured to perfidy that we are no longer even surprised by it, and those who do so have no shame. But that leads to a question, often asked: How did we GET here? It seems there are just too many obvious answers to make sense of the whole.

But that then confuses the even more important question: How do we get BACK?

There really may be a succinct answer in this parsha. The most basic unit of ‘government,’ ordained by Yahuah and outlined in Genesis, and repeatedly thereafter, is the family. And, more importantly, what is called ‘patriarchy’.

And, right there, the problem stares us in the face. The fact that even that word itself is now practically a curse to those who, let’s be honest, HATE His Word, is virtually a proof.

So, how do you destroy a a people, a nation, a world? Start there. Destroy men. Then the family. And they can work up to killing kids later.

This parsha, and this teaching, is decidedly NOT “politically correct.” Which is where we start.

Matot and Numbers 30: How did we get here? And how do we turn back?

The combined full two-part teaching is here: