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PARSHAT  BAMIDBAR   

 

This Friday, May 26th is Rosh Chodesh Sivan. May it bring to us the blessings of Hashem. 

 

This Shabbat we begin the fourth Book of the Torah - Bamidbar. Parshat Bamidbar begins with the story of the first census of B'nai Yisroel. Our sages explain that Hashem often counts our people because we're so precious to him. 

 

The Leviim were counted separately and were given special responsibilities regarding the care and transportation of the Mishkan and its sacred objects. In many ancient cultures, the first born son, the B'chor, was dedicated to G-d; some even offered the B'chor as a sacrifice! 

 
Avraham, the first Jew was taught by Hashem during the Akedah that human sacrifice is unacceptable. The B'chor continued in his important role until the incident of the golden calf. The Leviim refrained from participating in this sin and as a result, were chosen for leadership in place of the first born. 

 

In our Parsha (Bamidbar 3, 11-13) we learn that although the Leviim replaced the first born as leaders, the B'chor is still considered special and is sanctified to Hashem. 

 
Suppose you're not a Levi, or a B'chor. Perhaps you're not a Kohen or a Rabbi or even a scholar. Are you still special in the eyes of Hashem? What is your role in Jewish destiny? 

 
As we prepare for Shavuot, the day we received the Torah, we are reminded that the Torah was given to each of us equally. As each Jew was counted in the census without regard to merit or scholarship - (one Jew...one vote) - so too does the Torah belong to each of us. In fact, if any of us had been missing at Mt. Sinai, perhaps, Hashem would not have given the Torah at all! 

 
 

Kol Tov!   Our best to you...it's all good.                   Shabbat Shalom, CM 

 
 

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Bamidbar teaches that Hashem counted the tribe of Levi? What was so special about that tribe?

Nowadays, the B'chor (first born son) still retains a special place in Judaism. Can you name the two areas in Jewish Law that pertain to the B'chor?

 





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