Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Bamidbar

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"Take a census of the entire Congregation of the Children of Israel, according to their families, by the houses of their fathers..." [1:2]

Rashi explains why a new count is taken here: "because they are so precious before him, he counts them continuously." This comes from a longer passage in the Medrash Rabbah [Bamidbar 2:19]:

"Come and see how precious is Israel before the Holy One, for behold, the Holy One, Blessed be He, wrote an account of Israel four times according to their encampments, twice individually and twice in summation, and further he counted each encampment (or flag) in summation and individually, in order to demonstrate how precious they are before Him. For they were His armies, and He wanted to count them continuously, like a person who has a fortune which is very precious to him, who counts it and goes back and counts it again many times, in order to know its account, and who rejoices in it with every single accounting. Just the same, the Holy One, Blessed be He, rejoiced to remember the account of Israel..."

The Medrash compares G-d rejoicing over Israel to a miser rejoicing over his wealth or a child over his baseball cards, who takes them out and goes over them again and again -- looking both at the numbers and at each one. Only the Medrash could make such a comparison, and the Medrash does: He delights in counting every Jew.

If G-d is counting us constantly, imagine His pain and sorrow when He finishes, and there are fewer than there were before. Imagine the reaction of the child who finds that several of his cards somehow became wet and moldy, or the miser who finds that a bag is missing! And the problem is not just that people are, "after 120", passing away -- but they are leaving. Jews are finding nothing in being part of the Jewish people!

If we are truly His 'armies', if we truly care about what is dear to Him, then we, too, must feel that pain. "Outreach" is not reserved for a few professionals. Outreach happens every time you invite a friend to join you at synagogue, at a Shabbos meal, at a Jewish event.

The holiday of Shavuos comes next week. This is the holiday of Receipt of the Torah, when the entire Nation of Israel gathered around the mountain "as one man with one heart." It is not enough for us to go only for ourselves -- we must bring our friends and neighbors too.


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Grace Saved
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Reaching Greatness: Living in the Land of Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

Use Them or Lose Them
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

> Why The Land of Israel?
- 5768

Connoisseur's Delight
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Bordering on the Holy Land
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

ArtScroll

I Too Was Struck
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

I 'Na' Know...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Out of This World
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Suicide Moms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

“You Can Take the Girl out of Hicksville, but...”
Jon Erlbaum -

Our Future Lies in Chevron
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Case Closed
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

I Believe
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Environmental Hazard
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Lech-Lecha #1 or Lech-Lecha #2 – Which is the harder test?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information