Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


by Rabbi Yaakov Menken

"Count the heads of all the congregation of the Children of Israel, by their families, by the houses of their fathers, by the number of names, every male by their heads." [Numbers 1:2]

Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, says that it is because of G-d's love for the Jewish people, because of how dear they were to Him, that He counted them constantly. When they went out of Egypt, He counted them, and after the sin of the Golden Calf, He counted the fallen to know how many remained. And now, in our portion this week, He counts them yet again.

So every Jew is precious -- but as we also see this week, we have many different roles to play. The People were divided by their flags, their tribes, and by their families. One person was part of the tribe of Dan, and camped in the North, under the flag of his own tribe. Another was a member of the tribe of Gad, which camped at the opposite end, in the South, under the flag of Reuven. But each one was a crucial part of the whole.

As Rabbi Yisrael Meyer Kagen, the Chofetz Chaim, pointed out: the Tent of Meeting, with the camp of the Levites, traveled in the Center. Because the Torah was carried in the Aron, which was in the Tent of Meeting, it had to be "inside" the camps. It had to be in the center, not close to one but far from the other. The Chofetz Chaim compares the Torah to the human heart, which must be in the center of the human body, pushing blood out to all the extremities. So too, every Jew is nourished by Torah, and the Torah must be accessible to all.

Torah is close to every one of us, and every Jew has a unique portion in Torah. It is here for us to learn, and find spiritual nourishment within it. As we approach the holiday of Shavuous, when we received the Torah, let us take this opportunity to grasp hold of it, and fulfill our unique spiritual missions.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Yaakov Menken

Text Copyright © 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

The author is the Director of Project Genesis.



View Complete List

Not Too Big for the Small Stuff
Shlomo Katz - 5776

Chochmah, Tevunah, and Daat
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Nobody Ever Promised We'd Understand
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Division is not Good
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

"If He Does Not Merit", Then "Opposite Him"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Simchas Torah : My Son, The Stranger
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Living Forever
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Know that you Know Nothing
Shlomo Katz - 5755

Why Tell Stories?
Shlomo Katz - 5764

> Concentric Circles:Contrasting Worlds
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

This Rashi Is Not For the United Nations It is For Us
- 5769

In The Beginning
Shlomo Katz - 5763


Creation: A Veil for the Reality of God
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Dealing with the Enemy
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Bereshis
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

From the Beginning, Again
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information