Drash Cards for BaMidbar (5773)
by Marc Mangel
• There are many reasons why the Torah was given in the desert. Here are two.
• The desert is ownerless (or owned by everyone). The Torah is given in the wilderness so that anyone who wants to acquire it can.
• The desert teaches us that we don’t need a lot to live. That we don’t need a lot to follow the Torah.
• But we wander in the desert — there is no shortcut to the promised land, no instant transformation from slaves to free people.
• But in English, we call it the “Book of Numbers” because it begins with a census. Everyone counts as 1. But everyone is counted.
• What is the meaning for us? Shabat HaGadol reminds us to think about our own Egypts. Hol HaMoed is the start of the process. Shavuout is a check-in after 7 weeks of self improvement.
• Each one of us is trying to get out of our own Egypt. And the message of BaMidbar is that we don’t need a lot of stuff to do it. But how?
• In Overcoming Folly, the fifth Chabad Rebbe noted that sometimes we need to go to extremes to achieve change (e.g. alcoholics never touch a drink in AA, to diet you may have to completely give up desert for a while).