Bamidbar – June 10, 2016

This Shabbat:

  • Friday Candle Lighting: 7:46 pm
  • Shabbat Ends: 8:49 pm

Torah Message:

Stand Up and Be Counted!

“But you shall not count the tribe of Levi…” (1:49)

The Midrash comments: “And the Levi’im will be to Me” — the Levi’im are Mine, for all those who come close to Me, to Me I will bring them close, and they brought themselves close to Me. (Bamidbar Rabbah)

Sometimes it’s not enough to just stay in the background and keep out of harm’s way. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.

Sometimes a person sees a flagrant desecration of G-d’s Name, when errant ideas are purveyed as “Judaism”, such as when “reformers would emasculate” and try to change the Law of the Torah or the spirit of the Torah. It’s not enough just to ignore them and turn the other way. A Jew has to stand up and be counted.

The tribe of Levi was exalted amongst the Jewish People because they were not involved in the sin of the Golden Calf. However, certainly there were many individuals who also refused to be drawn into idol worship. Why, then, weren’t they rewarded in the same way as the tribe of Levi, to be appointed “over the Tabernacle of Testimony, over all its utensils and everything that belongs to it?” (1:50)

When Moshe came down from the mountain and saw the B’nei Yisrael cavorting around the Golden Calf, he shouted, “Who is for Gd — to me!” (Shemot 33:26). It was only the Tribe of Levi who answered the call as one man. It was only the Tribe of Levi who “brought themselves close” by standing together with Moshe.

Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.

  • Source: Based on the Chiddushei HaRim