"And Moshe counted them – according to the word of G-d – as he was
commanded." (Bemidbar, 3:15)
After the census of the tribes was completed Hashem commanded Moshe to do
a count of the elite tribe of Levi. In this case the infants from 30 days
old and up were included, whereas with the other tribes only males from 20
years to 60 years old were included.
This crated a problem for a man like Moshe who feared any violation of
proper modesty. The Midrash relates (as quoted by Rashi zt’l), a
conversation between Moshe and Hashem.
“How can I enter the tent to count the infants when women who recently
gave birth are living? It is not the modest way of our Torah.”
“You go to the entrance of the tent – and I will contribute my part”, was
the answer from our Creator.
And so Moshe did as he was told and when he stood by the doorway a
Heavenly voice rang out and informed him the number of eligible members of
Miraculous assistance from Heaven!
The question is: If Hashem was going to tell Moshe the number why send him
on the tedious mission of going from tent to tent to count? Why not just
give him the tally?
The answer is that Hashem wanted to teach Moshe an important principal in
service to Him. When a difficult task – or even one that seems impossible –
confronts a person one should not give up and walk away. Instead a person
should do all that he can and pray that Hashem will do the rest.
When the daughter of Par-oh went to bathe by the river and saw a basket
floating on the water she stretched out he arm to pull the basket to
safety. The floating basket was much too far for her to reach and yet she
tried to reach it. The impossible became possible when Hashem stretched
her arm the distance necessary to retrieve Moshe the baby in the basket.
She did all that was humanly possible and then Heavenly assistance – and
quite miraculous assistance at that – kicked in to complete the task.
You might find it difficult to learn Torah, or perhaps extending your
budget to include charity seems impossible. Maybe you have an idea for a
chesed institution or an educational venture for those in need. Don’t
assume it is impossible. Start the process. Do your thing. Add some prayer
and watch it happen. All Hashem expects is that you do your thing. If you
do to the maximum – He will do His.