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Bamidbar

Bamidbar

The Poles of the Ark
By: Raanan Eichler
 
This week's reading describes the procedure for transporting the Tabernacle and its furnishings. The sons of Kehath were to carry the sacred furnishings, but Aaron and his sons were commanded to cover these furnishings before the sons of Kohath approached. The process for covering the Ark of the Pact is described thus: At the breaking of camp, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the screening curtain and cover the Ark of the Pact with it. They shall lay a covering of dolphin skin over it and spread a cloth of pure blue on top; and they shall put its poles in place (Num. 4:5-6). Full Article>>
 
Rabbi Abraham Isaiah Karlitz (Kosovo 1878—Bnei Brak 1953), otherwise known as the Hazon Ish, was highly reputed as a Torah scholar, commentator, and halakhic authority, and even as a public leader of the ultra-Orthodox community, albeit behind the scenes. He was not known, however, as a biblical exegete, although here and there he naturally came out with comments of an exegetical nature. Nevertheless, at least once, to the best of my knowledge, he spoke out most definitively on the matter of defining the “plain sense of the text,” in his interpretation of a verse from the end of Parashat Be-Midbar: “But let them not go inside and witness [Heb. lir’ot] the dismantling [Heb. ke-vala`] of the sanctuary, lest they die” (Num. 4:20). Full Article>>
 
 
The Desert as a Metaphor
By: Yair Barkai
 
On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, saying: (Num. 1:1) Why does the Torah mention these two places, when it appears superfluous to mention either? Ever since the Tabernacle was built the Lord spoke with Moses from the Tent of Meeting, and that the people were in the wilderness of Sinai is self-evident, for they had not yet entered the Promised Land. Full Article>>
 
 
Yom Yerushalayim—Waving the Flag
By: Tuviah Bar-Ilan
 
At the beginning of this week’s reading, G-d commands Moses: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by the clans of its ancestral homes, listing the names [lit.according to the number of names], every male, head by head” (Num. 1:2). Let us examine this unusual expression: “According to the number of names.” This expression seems like an oxymoron, for it concerns two opposites. A person’s name expresses the hidden inner essence (Rabbi Meir used to base interpretations on names; GenesisRabbah 42.5). Full Article >>
 
 
On the Structure of the Book of Numbers
By: Prof. Amos Frisch
 
Studying the structure of biblical books is not an unnecessary extravagance; it is really essential in order to understand the message conveyed by any written work. [1] The structure of Numbers is rather complex and has evoked a wide spectrum of views. We shall begin by outlining several of the positions taken on this question, and then shall sketch a new proposal for understanding the structure of this book. Full Article >>
 
Last modified: 17/12/2019