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 SHEMINI AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

"Meat, Wine and Bread"
Shlomo Katz - 5770

Striking At the Heart of What the Jewish People are All About
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

The Impact of Holiness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

> Theory of Relativity
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

To Live As A Jew
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Reality Of Consequence
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

What I Was Chosen To Do
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Wearing The Same Robe
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Up and Out
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

ArtScroll

Do Good!
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Friends
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Just Say Traif!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

What's an Omer?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

The Sound of Silence
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

It Is Certainly Not MY Fault!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

The Challenge of the Eighth Day
Rabbi Berel Wein - 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