Parshat Bamidbar – May 15, 2021 – 4 Sivan 5781

Parshat Bamidbar 

  • Stone Chumash, p. 726
  • 159 verses
  • 48th day of the Omer 
  • Pirkei Avot – Chapter 6
  •  Haftorah: Hosea 2 “V’Haya Mispar B’nei Yisrael” Stone Chumash, p.1180

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting:     7:43p
  • Vasikin (Sunrise):  5:58:53a
  • Latest Shmah:        9:29a
  • Earliest Mincha:    1:35p
    Havdalah:             8:44p
  • Community Zoom Havdalah: 9:00p

Shavuot Schedule

  • Candle Lighting for First Day: Sunday, May 16, 7:44PM
  • Candle Lighting for Second Day: Monday, May 17, 8:46PM
  • In-Person Services, Outside, Pre-Registration Required: Monday, 10am (weather permitting)
  • Yizkor: Tuesday morning
  • Yom Tov Ends: 8:47

General Intro

Parshat Bamidbar  contains three major themes:
1) The census of the people of Israel and the establishment of their encampments.

2) The selection of the tribe of Levi, their census, and the establishment of their occupations in the Tabernacle The Levites are not included in the general census.  

3) the census of the house of Gershon, Kehat, and Merari,and their various occupations i.e. Gershon- to remove and re-set the various curtains of the Tabernacle, during its travels. Kehat- to carry the furnishings of the Tabernacle, and Merari to transport the physical structure of the Tabernacle, i.e. beams, struts, stakes, sockets, and positioning wires. 

Haftorah- The people of Israel are compared to a wayward wife, who is ultimately abandoned by her paramours. Although she betrayed Him, her first husband will take her back, and will “remarry” her in righteousness and justice, and compassion and love, for all eternity.

The Moral of the Story

The establishment of the encampment of the people of Israel, and their divisions into tribes, with various responsibilities, is the first official transformation of the people. Until now, the Israelites were an unorganized multitude of former slaves, and now, suddenly, they are given flags, emblems, ranks, and responsibilities. Before a nation can be created, they require a strong sense of national, as well as individual, self-esteem. A nation which loses its focus, and misplaces its national ideals and goals, can not long endure.

This sense of Nationhood, which was established over 3,300 years ago, had never once left our collective self-conscious. Even during the worst periods of our Exile, we continued to pray that we would one day be re-established, as an independent nation living a life of sanctity, on our Holy soil. We never dropped our various ranks of Kohen, Levi, and Israelite.  For millennia our people have prayed to view that auspicious day, when we would once again express our national identities in our own land, and now, in our own time, with the establishment of the State of Israel, we have finally witnessed the beginnings of our redemption!