(Numbers 1:1-4:20)

(Haftara: Hosea 2, 1-22)

(Pirkay Avot Chapter 6)

(Sfirat Ha’omer)

(Rosh Chodesh)

  1. [1:2]  “Count the community of the children of Israel…”  The Hebrew phrase used here for counting people or taking a census means “lifting up the head”.  In what way does lifting up the head mean counting people?

  2. [4:20] “Let them not come and see the sacred things being taken down , or they will die.”   Why would there be such a negative effect on the sons of Kehat. if they saw the tabernacle taken down? What similar things do we have in our lives?

  3.  [Hoshea 2:21, 22]  “And I will betroth you to me…in honesty and in justice, in kindness and in compassion…in faithfulness, and you will know God.”  Honesty, justice, kindness, compassion and faithfulness—is that enough to really know someone, or is more needed?

  4. [Pirkay Avot 6:6]  “…don’t be happy with judging and teaching on matters of Torah law…”  Why should one avoid judging and teaching on matters of Torah law?

  5. [Rosh Chodesh] On Rosh Chodesh we pray the Hallel prayer. What does the following sentence mean: “The stone that the builders despised became the most important stone”?

Commentary

Rabbi Broka was in the marketplace in Babylon when he asked Eliyahu the prophet, “Are there any people with elevated souls in this marketplace?”.  Eliyahu pointed out two people. The man ran to them in order to see who these special people were.  “What do you do?” asked Rabbi Broka. “We are jokers”, they said. “We cheer up the depressed, or if we see two people having an argument, we work at making peace between them.”

–Talmud, Ta’anit 22a.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer