BaMidbar (5773)

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).

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