“Parsha and Purpose” – Bamidbar 5780

“Parsha and Purpose” – Bamidbar 5780
Rabbi Kenneth Brander’s weekly insights into the parsha 

“Redemption in the Air: Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot”

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“Redemption in the Air: Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot”

Chodesh haZiv. The name that this month of Iyyar is given by the Tanakh and Talmud. It means the sprouting of new light, because we are now blessed in Israel with the blossoming of all the flowers and of the trees. The beginning of the spring. 

We start to hear the birds in the air. It’s Chodesh haZiv because it is the complete month, the month of Iyyar. From Pesach to Shavuot, where we count up from the beginning of the redemption of the Jewish people, to the final component of the redemption of the Jewish people. 

It is the beginning of the spiritual light. It is Chodesh haZiv because it is also the month that the Gemara, in Rosh Hashana, on page 11A, tells us that the patriarchs were born. 

The sprouting and the beginning of the nation. 

But for us in this generation it is also called Chodesh haZiv, the beginning of the sprouting of new light, because in this month we have been fortunate to have Yom haAtzmaut on the fifth of Iyyar – Israel Independence Day – and Yom Yerushalayim, the reunification of Jerusalem, on the 28th of Iyyar, this Friday. 

After all, what better way to celebrate Ziv, the beginning of the flourishing of the new light, when we have been blessed in this generation with these two new holidays. 

Purim and Pesach; our paradigms of redemption. Purim represents redemption that comes from humankind, from Mordechai and Esther, who galvanize the Jewish people, with God operating behind the scenes. Pesach is a miracle that is orchestrated by God. He is the primary conductor, with the Jewish people playing a secondary role. 

On Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim, you have the themes of Pesach and Purim together: an initiative by humankind, Jews throughout the world, human beings throughout the world, that move to help the Jewish people have its homeland. It is the celebration of the Purim experience in modern-day time. 

But you also have the initiative of God, who uses His powerful hand to empower the army of the Jewish people to defy all the military odds, to guarantee the immortality of the Jewish people. 

In this generation, we have been blessed with the full blossoming of Chodesh haZiv, the full blossoming of a radiant light in this month. 

It focuses on our movement towards Shavuot. It focuses on finding God in nature, the beginning of the Jewish people through our patriarchs, and the continuation of the story, through Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. 

The message that we have for this week, to be blessed, to be zoche, to merit to be part of this generation, where we see the beginning of the final redemption of the Jewish people. 

Shabbat Shalom, and Chag Yerushalayim Sameach!

Bamidbar: “Take the Levites”

Rav Yoni Rosensweig

Parashat Bamidbar: “Take the Levites” Why does the Torah go to such lengths to keep the Levites completely separate from the rest of the Israelites? Why did it order a separate census of the Levites? Rabbi Yoni Rosensweig, Faculty of the Maria and Joel Finkle Overseas Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum Parashat Bamidbar contains technical lists of …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Bamidbar 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin  Efrat, Israel –  ‘And God spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they came out of the Land of Egypt’ (Numbers 1:1) Bamidbar, or “In the desert,” …

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Parshat Bamidbar: Body Divided; Soul United

Rabbi Aviad Sanders

Parshat Bamidbar: Body Divided; Soul United Rabbi Aviad Sanders is the Director of Career Development and Placement at the Susi Bradfield Institute for Halakhic Leadership and a ra’m at Midreshet Lindenbaum The fourth of the Five Books of Moses begins with a new census of the Jewish people and a description of the Jewish people’s encampments during …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Bamidbar 5779

Shabbat Shalom: Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel-  “…by their families, by their parents’ houses.”  (Numbers 1:2 ) Early in the book of Numbers the Torah records the first census in the history of the Jewish people: “Count the heads of the entire witness community of the children of Israel, by their …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Bamidbar 5778

Parshat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20) Rabbi David Stav This Shabbat, we will read Parshat Bamidbar, which begins the fourth of the Five Books of Moses. This book has two names: one is Sefer Bamidbar, and the other, Chumash Hapekudim, a name indicative of the numerous censuses recorded in the book of Bamidbar, and more specifically, in …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Bamidbar 5778

Parshat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Count the heads of the entire witness-congregation of Israel” (Numbers 1:2). The Book of Numbers opens with a most optimistic picture of a nation poised for redemption. The Israelites have been freed from Egypt with great miracles and wonders. They have received the Revelation at Sinai …

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