Behaalotekha: A Path to Follow

This portion contains one of several mentions of “seventy elders,” (Numbers/Bamidbar 11:16) sharing the burden of leadership with Moses, and some interesting bits about who gets to prophesy, when and how:

“Two of the representatives, one named Eldad and the other Medad, had remained in camp; yet the spirit rested on them — they were among those recorded, but they had not gone out to the Tent — and they spoke in ecstasy in the camp.” — Numbers/Bamidbar 11:26

See also incident with Miriam, Aaron and Moses getting called out to the front of the Tent and God explaining differences in their prophecies. (Numbers/Bamidbar 12:4 ff)

Compare with other passages where seventy are mentioned: Exodus 19 (Moses’ father-in-law, however named, appears in both spots), Exodus 24 (where there is, apparently, a picnic with God), etc.

Or consider the story of Moses and siblings in comparison with other sibling-rivalries in the Torah.

Look, too, at Nadav and Abihu (who appear briefly in Exodus 24) as well as in their foreign-fire death (Leviticus 10:1-7).

The “Opening the Book” series was originally presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group that for many years pursued spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.

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Virginia hosts "Conversations Toward Repair" on We Act Radio, manages, blogs on general stuff a and more Jewish topics at and

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