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Parshat Bamidbar Torah Study May 23

Parshat Bamidbar: To count and to count

Link to Parasha here


Numbers 1:2

ב שְׂאוּ, אֶת-רֹאשׁ כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם, לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם--בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת, כָּל-זָכָר לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם. 

Old JPS-2 'Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male, by their polls.

NJPS-2 Take a census of the whole Israelite community by the clans of its ancestral houses, listing the names, every male, head by head. 


שְׂאוּ/N.S.A-Lift up, carry, bear, sustain 

לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם-Head, poll or skull

פְקֹד/P.K.D- Pay attention to, provide, number, observe, entrust or appoint as overseer (causative form), reckon (Bamidbar is, in Rabbinic sources, called the Hamesh Hapekudim- the Five Reckonings)

1:49 ” אַךְ אֶת-מַטֵּה לֵוִי לֹא תִפְקֹד, וְאֶת-רֹאשָׁם לֹא תִשָּׂא, בְּתוֹךְ, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:” “But do not ___ (P.K.D.) the tribe of Levi ____or  (N.S.A.) them with the Israelites.”

1:50 “וְאַתָּה הַפְקֵד אֶת-הַלְוִיִּם עַל-מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת וְעַל כָּל-כֵּלָיו,
וְעַל כָּל-אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ–הֵמָּה יִשְׂאוּ אֶת-הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְאֶת-כָּל-כֵּלָיו, וְהֵם יְשָׁרְתֻהוּ; וְסָבִיב לַמִּשְׁכָּן, יַחֲנוּ.”

“____ (P.K.D.) the Levites with the Tabernacle of the Pact, all its furnishings, and all that pertains to it; they will _____ (N.S.A.) the Tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they will tend it, and they will camp around the Tabernacle.”

  • What does this say about the Levites and about the book, if anything, in general?

Fri, May 29 2020 6 Sivan 5780