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Bamidbar Summaries

Bamidbar-Shavuot 5778-2018

“Counting a Very Special People”

The counting of the Children of Israel in ancient times did not seek to identify the skills or aptitudes of those who were counted. It was a survey of those who had a genuine connection to G-d. On the festival of Shavuot we all seek to assert our special relationship with the Al-mighty.

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Bamidbar 5777-2017

“The Danger of Seeing the Holy Furnishings”

The closing verses of parashat Bamidbar underscore the great sanctity of the Torah, a particularly timely theme for the eve of Shavuot.

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Bamidbar 5776-2016

“A Tiny Letter Conveys a Profound Lesson”

The minor change in the spelling of the name Deuel, gives us much to ponder and has much to teach.

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Bamidbar 5775-2015

“Finding Value in Every Task”

The Torah and the commentators note that every Levite had a specific task in the Tabernacle. Apparently, it was necessary to convince the Levites who served in the Temple, that each task was of great importance. It is an important lesson that we today would do well to appreciate.

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Bamidbar 5774-2014

“Counting the Jews, Again!”

For the third time in a little over a year, the Al-mighty commands that a census be taken of the Jewish People. Why the frequency, and for what purpose?

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Bamidbar-Shavuot 5773-2013

“The Invaluable Legacy of the Ancient Camp of Israel”

The counting of the People of Israel and the establishment of the tribal camps is one of the most important achievements in the long history of Judaism.

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Bamidbar – Shavuot 5772-2012

Techelet–Genuine Sincerity in Faith”

The Torah delineates very specific procedures for preparing the Tabernacle furnishings before the camp of Israel travels in the wilderness. From the priestly procedures to cover the holy furnishings of the Tabernacle, we learn a profound lesson regarding the primacy of faith.

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Bamidbar 5771-2011

“Good Neighbors and Bad Neighbors”

The commentators explain that there are different ways in which good neighbors and bad neighbors impact upon those who live nearby.

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Bamidbar 5770-2010

“The Meaning of the Wilderness”

The midbar-wilderness, is a dry and abandoned location, a place where the Divine presence of G-d appears to be absent. Yet, the very opposite is true! G-d is close and extremely accessible even in the most remote places and circumstances!

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Bamidbar 5769-2009

“Bringing Order to the Camp of Israel”

When it came to setting up the camp of Israel in the wilderness, two influences were significant. The angels at Sinai who surrounded G-d, and the directives that Jacob bequeathed to his children at the time of his death. Establishing healthy and secure family relationships often requires Divine intervention, but the human role must not be underestimated.

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Bamidbar 5768-2008

“Moses: A Spiritual Father”

In parashat Bamidbar, the Torah announces the progeny of both Aaron and Moses, but actually only names the children of Aaron. From this unusual omission, our rabbis learn a fundamental principle, that one who teaches his friend’s child Torah is regarded as if he had fathered the child. Nevertheless, there are many questions to be asked about the way the Torah expresses the relationship between Moses and his nephews and much to be learned from their relationship.

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Bamidbar 5767-2007

“The Tribe of Levi–the Master Enablers”

A major portion of parashat B’midbar, as well as Naso and B’ha’a’lot’cha, focuses in on the role of the tribe of Levi. Why all this emphasis on Levites? Who were they, and how did they become the most important tribe of Israel in spiritual matters?

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Bamidbar 5766-2006

“Valuable Insights from the Priestly Logistics”

In parashat Bamidbar we are told that Elazar, despite his prestigious position and noble background, carried many of the Tabernacle supplies in his own hands. There is much to be learned from Elazar’s humility, and his preparedness to perform even the most menial of tasks. This attitude is what made him a worthy successor to his father as High Priest, and most fitting to serve as a model for future generations to admire and seek to emulate.

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Bamidbar 5765-2005

“Lessons from Traveling in the Wilderness”

Parashat Bamidbar goes into great detail regarding the setup of the encampment of the ancient Israelites as they lived and traveled in the wilderness. These details, seemingly insignificant, provide essential lessons for Jews, lessons that we should master, and implement in our own lives, thus insuring the survival of our people.

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Bamidbar 5764-2004

“Surviving the Wilderness”

Bamidbar–the wilderness–is not just an experience in the desert. The wilderness represents the challenge of Jews to survive in hostile environments and provides the keys for Jewish survival in those environments. Bamidbar teaches that the strength of family, the centrality of G-d and devotion to Torah are the elixirs of Jewish life.

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Bamidbar 5763-2003

“The Role of the Levites, and the Service of Yeshiva Students in the Israeli Army”

The Tribe of Levi was not counted along with the men of the other tribes, since the Levites did not serve in the army of Israel. The Levites, in fact, served in the army of G-d. The role of the ancient Levites seems to justify the exemption of yeshiva students from the Israeli army. Should this ancient exemption influence the laws that are applied today?

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Bamidbar 5762-2002

“Counting on the People of Israel”

The excruciating detail that the Torah goes into when reporting on the census of the People of Israel underscores the importance of the organizational structure of the Jewish people. The redundant counting of the Jewish people in the parasha may be a rabbi’s nightmare, but the detail underscores each Jew’s preciousness. This high regard for each Jewish soul is what really keeps our people together and unified.

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Bamidbar 5761-2001

“Continuity Through Family Structure”

G-d loves the Jewish people so much that He continually counts them like one counts a prized possession or money. The Jewish family is the glue, the cement of Jewish life. However, as the nuclear family erodes, the devastating breakdown of Jewish life is not far behind.

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Bamidbar 5760-2000

“The Risks of Being a Public Figure”

The Torah announces: “These are the offspring of Aaron and Moses,” but only lists the offspring of Aaron. From this textual nuance we learn that those people who are not blessed with biological children can still be spiritual parents, like Moses was to Aaron’s children. It also underscores the great challenge facing public figures to balance their own lives with the needs of the community.

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