TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Deuteronomy 16

1Observe the month of Abib and offer a Pesach sacrifice to Hashem your God, for it was in the month of Abib, at night, that Hashem your God freed you from Egypt.

אשָׁמוֹר אֶת־חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב וְעָשִׂיתָ פֶּסַח לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כִּי בְּחֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב הוֹצִיאֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִמִּצְרַיִם לָיְלָה׃

2You shall slaughter the Pesach sacrifice for Hashem your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where Hashem will choose to establish His name.

בוְזָבַחְתָּ פֶּסַח לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ צֹאן וּבָקָר בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם׃

3You shall not eat anything leavened with it; for seven days thereafter you shall eat unleavened bread, bread of distress—for you departed from the land of Egypt hurriedly—so that you may remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt as long as you live.

גלֹא־תֹאכַל עָלָיו חָמֵץ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תֹּאכַל־עָלָיו מַצּוֹת לֶחֶם עֹנִי כִּי בְחִפָּזוֹן יָצָאתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת־יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ׃

4For seven days no leaven shall be found with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh of what you slaughter on the evening of the first day shall be left until morning.

דוְלֹא־יֵרָאֶה לְךָ שְׂאֹר בְּכָל־גְּבֻלְךָ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְלֹא־יָלִין מִן־הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר תִּזְבַּח בָּעֶרֶב בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן לַבֹּקֶר׃

5You are not permitted to slaughter the Pesach sacrifice in any of the settlements that Hashem your God is giving you;

הלֹא תוּכַל לִזְבֹּחַ אֶת־הַפָּסַח בְּאַחַד שְׁעָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ׃

6but at the place where Hashem your God will choose to establish His name, there alone shall you slaughter the Pesach sacrifice, in the evening, at sundown, the time of day when you departed from Egypt.

וכִּי אִם־אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם תִּזְבַּח אֶת־הַפֶּסַח בָּעָרֶב כְּבוֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ מוֹעֵד צֵאתְךָ מִמִּצְרָיִם׃

7You shall cook and eat it at the place that Hashem your God will choose; and in the morning you may start back on your journey home.

זוּבִשַּׁלְתָּ וְאָכַלְתָּ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ וּפָנִיתָ בַבֹּקֶר וְהָלַכְתָּ לְאֹהָלֶיךָ׃

8After eating unleavened bread six days, you shall hold a solemn gathering for Hashem your God on the seventh day: you shall do no work.

חשֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֹּאכַל מַצּוֹת וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי עֲצֶרֶת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה מְלָאכָה׃

9You shall count off seven weeks; start to count the seven weeks when the sickle is first put to the standing grain.

טשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעֹת תִּסְפָּר־לָךְ מֵהָחֵל חֶרְמֵשׁ בַּקָּמָה תָּחֵל לִסְפֹּר שִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת׃

10Then you shall observe the festival of Shavuot for Hashem your God, offering your freewill contribution according as Hashem your God has blessed you.

יוְעָשִׂיתָ חַג שָׁבֻעוֹת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִסַּת נִדְבַת יָדְךָ אֲשֶׁר תִּתֵּן כַּאֲשֶׁר יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃

11You shall rejoice before Hashem your God with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite in your communities, and the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your midst, at the place where Hashem your God will choose to establish His name.

יאוְשָׂמַחְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְהַגֵּר וְהַיָּתוֹם וְהָאַלְמָנָה אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבֶּךָ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם׃

12Bear in mind that you were slaves in Egypt, and take care to obey these laws.

יבוְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי־עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּמִצְרָיִם וְשָׁמַרְתָּ וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה׃

13After the ingathering from your threshing floor and your vat, you shall hold the festival of Sukkot for seven days.

יגחַג הַסֻּכֹּת תַּעֲשֶׂה לְךָ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בְּאָסְפְּךָ מִגָּרְנְךָ וּמִיִּקְבֶךָ׃

14You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your communities.

ידוְשָׂמַחְתָּ בְּחַגֶּךָ אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ וְהַלֵּוִי וְהַגֵּר וְהַיָּתוֹם וְהָאַלְמָנָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ׃

15You shall hold a festival for Hashem your God seven days, in the place that Hashem will choose; for Hashem your God will bless all your crops and all your undertakings, and you shall have nothing but joy.

טושִׁבְעַת יָמִים תָּחֹג לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה כִּי יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל תְּבוּאָתְךָ וּבְכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיךָ וְהָיִיתָ אַךְ שָׂמֵחַ׃

16Three times a year—on the festival of Pesach, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot—all your males shall appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed,

sha-LOSH p'-a-MEEM ba-sha-NAH yay-ra-EH khol z'-khu-r'-KHA et p'-NAY a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha ba-ma-KOM a-SHER yiv-KHAR b'-KHAG ha-ma-TZOT u-v'-KHAG ha-sha-vu-OT u-v'-KHAG ha-su-KOT v'-LO yay-ra-EH et p'-NAY a-do-NAI ray-KAM

טזשָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָל־זְכוּרְךָ אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחָר בְּחַג הַמַּצּוֹת וּבְחַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת וּבְחַג הַסֻּכּוֹת וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהֹוָה רֵיקָם׃

 16:16   Three times a year

The Chinese delegation at the Jerusalem march, Sukkot 2013

The Hebrew word shalosh (שלוש) means ‘three.’ The number three indicates a strong unit or bond, as it says in Megillat Kohelet (4:12), “A threefold cord is not readily broken.” Perhaps for this reason, there are three times a year when every Jew is commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim and to appear before Hashem in the Temple. This ensures that he will reconnect with his Creator at least three times a year, and that the bonds between them will remain strong.


 16:16   On the Feast of Booths

Sukkot stands out from the other pilgrimage festivals in that its celebration is not limited to the Jewish people. Rather, the Sages explain (Sukkah 55b) that a total of seventy bulls were brought as burnt-offerings throughout the Feast of Booths, on behalf of all seventy nations of the world. This served as a mighty display of universal solidarity and worship of the one true God of Israel. The Sages of the Midrash conclude that had the Babylonians and Romans understood the universal benefit that the Beit Hamikdash provided, they would never have destroyed it and would even have built a protective fortress around it. The prophet Zecharya promises that in the time of Mashiach, Sukkot will once again be celebrated in Yerushalayim by all the nations of the world: “All who survive of all those nations that came up against Yerushalayim shall make a pilgrimage year by year to bow low to the King Lord of Hosts, and to observe the festival of Sukkot” (Zechariah 14:16). This prophecy has begun to be fulfilled through the thousands of non-Jewish visitors from all over the world who come to Yerushalayim each year for Sukkot.

 

17but each with his own gift, according to the blessing that Hashem your God has bestowed upon you.

יזאִישׁ כְּמַתְּנַת יָדוֹ כְּבִרְכַּת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן־לָךְ׃

18You shall appoint magistrates and officials for your tribes, in all the settlements that Hashem your God is giving you, and they shall govern the people with due justice.

יחשֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן־לְךָ בְּכָל־שְׁעָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ לִשְׁבָטֶיךָ וְשָׁפְטוּ אֶת־הָעָם מִשְׁפַּט־צֶדֶק׃

19You shall not judge unfairly: you shall show no partiality; you shall not take bribes, for bribes blind the eyes of the discerning and upset the plea of the just.

יטלֹא־תַטֶּה מִשְׁפָּט לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים וְלֹא־תִקַּח שֹׁחַד כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִם׃

20Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive and occupy the land that Hashem your God is giving you.

TZE-dek TZE-dek tir-DOF l'-MA-an tikh-YEH v'-ya-rash-TA et ha-A-retz a-sher a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha no-TAYN LAKH

כצֶדֶק צֶדֶק תִּרְדֹּף לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה וְיָרַשְׁתָּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ׃

21You shall not set up a sacred post—any kind of pole beside the mizbayach of Hashem your God that you may make

כאלֹא־תִטַּע לְךָ אֲשֵׁרָה כָּל־עֵץ אֵצֶל מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה־לָּךְ׃

22or erect a stone pillar; for such Hashem your God detests.

כבוְלֹא־תָקִים לְךָ מַצֵּבָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃