Drash Cards for BaMidbar (5766)
by Marc Mangel
• On Shavuot, God and Israel are wed. Today is our aufruf. But the Shalch notes that no commandments are given in BaMidbar.
• Why is/must the Torah be given in the desert? The Rabbis have many interpretations
• R. Hillel Klavan (Modern Orthodox): To show that Torah lifestyle does not depend upon location
• Midrash BaMidbar Rabbah: Whoever does not make himself open and free like a wilderness cannot acquire wisdom and Torah
• Talmud (Nedarim 55a): One can only merit to understand Torah if one views oneself as a desert.
• R Aharon Kotler: One must be ready to share his Torah with all Jews. Just as the desert belongs to no one, so those who learn Torah must realize the Torah is not their possession — it belongs to all Jews.
• Ohel Torah: The Desert is a metaphor for humility. One must realize that in spite of any Torah learned, one is a desert, devoid of real spiritual yield.
• I add: We learn from life in the desert how to focus on the essentials. Life is possible in the desert but it is not wasteful.
• This book is also called Chumash Hapekudim — the book of counting.
• Each is counted as an individual, as a member of his or he family, and as a member of a tribe because the backbone for the Torah life and society are the unique individual, the family, and significant communal groups.
• Got counted us entering Egypt, at the Exodus, after the Golden Calf, and here. Why does God count us?