Exodus 21 - 24

א וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תָּשִׂ֖ים לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃
ב כִּ֤י תִקְנֶה֙ עֶ֣בֶד עִבְרִ֔י שֵׁ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים יַעֲבֹ֑ד וּבַ֨שְּׁבִעִ֔ת יֵצֵ֥א לַֽחָפְשִׁ֖י חִנָּֽם׃
ג אִם־בְּגַפּ֥וֹ יָבֹ֖א בְּגַפּ֣וֹ יֵצֵ֑א אִם־בַּ֤עַל אִשָּׁה֙ ה֔וּא וְיָצְאָ֥ה אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ עִמּֽוֹ׃

Parashat Shekalim

On the Shabbat prior to Rosh Hodesh Adar, the custom is to read Parashat Shekalim following the parasha.

Exodus 30

יא וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃
יב כִּ֣י תִשָּׂ֞א אֶת־רֹ֥אשׁ בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם֒ וְנָ֨תְנ֜וּ אִ֣ישׁ כֹּ֧פֶר נַפְשׁ֛וֹ לַיהוָ֖ה בִּפְקֹ֣ד אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה בָהֶ֛ם נֶ֖גֶף בִּפְקֹ֥ד אֹתָֽם׃

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Routine in Tanakh

Tanakh celebrates many spectacular events from the revelation at Sinai and the Ten Plagues, through the Splitting of the Sea, to prophecies and miracles throughout the generations; but Tanakh also offers insight into every day, routine life.

The Korban Tamid, which is offered twice daily, was in fact sacrificed “at Mount Sinai” (Num. 28:5), reminding us that regular routine is meant to continue the experience from the exhilarating moment of the revelation at Sinai.

The Menora is kept burning from evening to morning every day (Ex. 27:20). Twelve showbread loaves that are eaten by the Kohanim on a weekly basis are described as “Holy of Holies,” indicating that holiness is part of routine life (Lev. 24:5-8). The service of God is not meant to be limited to intense, climactic bursts.

Many biblical personalities also demonstrate heroism in their routine activities: Yehoshua is described as being a loyal attendant to Moshe who never left his side, never straying from the tent (Ex. 33:11).

Daniel faces everyday challenges as a Jew in the Persian court after the destruction of the First Temple. Despite the death penalty decreed upon anyone who prays, Daniel insists on continuing his daily prayers (Dan. 6:11).

Ruth's devotion to Naomi's is demonstrated through her routine gathering of sheaves, day in and day out throughout the gathering seasons, to ensure a livelihood for her mother-in-law (Ruth 2:23). No dramatic miracles, wars, or acts of deliverance are described, but rather meticulous everyday kindness and loyalty, which transform a humdrum routine into an exalted one.

These select few among many others demonstrate that while remarkable events are present, Tanakh promotes and encourages a religious experience that permeates every day, routine existence.

Explore additional ideas related to routine in Tanakh with hatanakh.com:

Constant Presence of God | Historical Uniqueness and Daily Service | The Nature of Ketoret | Leadership and Cohesion | Yitzhak in the Field: Prayer and Agriculture | He Who Answered Daniel | Routine in Tanakh | The River and the Redeemer | Divine Command and Human Initiative | The Book of Ruth