web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Stand Up And Be Counted

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The articles in this column are transcriptions and adaptations of shiurim by Rav Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, zt”l.              

This article is dedicated in honor of the bris of Aryeh Leibish Efrayim Tzvi ben Chaim Yechezkel Halevi Fink.              

Parshas Bamidbar begins with a command from Hashem to count bnei Yisrael in the second year in preparation of entering Eretz Yisrael. The census was to include all males that were of military age, twenty years. Moshe was commanded to count the tribes with the aid of the elders of the tribe. A consistent, two-verse format records the count for each tribe, stating the name of the tribe and the constraint that the census was limited to count going to battle on behalf of bnei Yisrael. The second verse presented the actual numeric count, introducing it with the word pekudeihem, their count. There is one departure from this format, Shevet Shimon. In the introductory verse to the census for tribe of Shimon, the Torah adds the word pekudei, his count. Why?

If we fast forward 38 years to Parshas Pinchas, The Torah records another census taken after the sin of the spies and the subsequent death of the generation of the exodus. The second census also served the purpose of counting the number of soldiers from each tribe, as well as providing the count that would be used to partition the land. In this census, the Torah groups the members of each tribe according to the children of Jacob’s sons. A consistent format is used here as well, where the last verse of each tribe’s census includes the word u’pekudeihem or l’pekudeihem. There is one exception: Shimon does not include either form of the word, the verse simply says these are the Shimoni families, totaling 22,200. Why is an extra pakod derivation included for Shimon in Parshas Bamidbar, yet omitted entirely in Parshas Pinchas?

I would like to offer the following answer based on ideas that the Rav mentioned in various shiurim. In the house of Jacob, Shimon and Levi were inseparable. The Torah describes their joint action against the city of Shechem and their hatred of Joseph. They were so linked, that after Joseph separated Shimon from Levi prior to sending his brothers back to Canaan, Levi is subsequently referred to as ha’echad, the one who remained, separated from his partner.

Over time, their relationship with each other and with Joseph changed. Levi, selected to serve in the Beis Hamikdash, and who also, through Miriam, was the ancestor of Jewish royalty, drifted closer to Joseph. He began to understand and appreciate Joseph’s significant role and mission in the unfolding drama of the formation of the Jewish people. The Rav noted that on the night of the redemption, when everyone was busy gathering gold, silver and precious articles from the Egyptians, Moshe is nowhere to be found. Where is he? Moshe is seeking the casket of Joseph. Why was Moshe so involved in this search? After all, Joseph had two sons, Menashe and Efrayim, who were now counted among the tribes of Israel. They should have taken the lead and responsibility to locate and retrieve Joseph’s bier.

Moshe and Shevet Levi had come to appreciate what Joseph did for bnei Yisrael. Without Joseph laying the foundation for them in Egypt, they never would have survived the exile spiritually intact. Joseph showed them that it was possible to remain committed to Hashem while participating in Egyptian society. He cared for them, fed them and due in large part to his dedication and self-sacrifice, the Jewish people blossomed in Egypt and ultimately left as a nation of 600,000 men above the age of 20 years. Moshe wanted to repay that debt and personally took responsibility for locating and retrieving Joseph, the highest honor that could be given. This demonstrated that the rift between Joseph and Levi was healed. Joshua, the grandson of Joseph, now became his inseparable disciple, in whom Moshe entrusted the transmission of the precious mesorah he received from Hashem.

About the Author: Rabbi Joshua Rapps attended the Rav's shiur at RIETS from 1977 through 1981 and is a musmach of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan. He and his wife Tzipporah live in Edison, N.J. Rabbi Rapps can be contacted at ravtorah1@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Stand Up And Be Counted”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Sacks

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

More Articles from Rabbi Joshua Rapps
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Moshe served dual major roles for bnei Yisrael. He was their teacher and their leader.

Moshe’s punishment described in the parsha is most tragic. He was chosen to redeem the people, he loved them dearly and personally sacrificed so much for them.

Scientific disciplines don’t ask “why”, a metaphysical question. They ask “how does it function?”

While Moshe was the most unique prophet, he was also alone.

The multitudes among them experienced a desire for meat and wept.

The Shulchan Aruch notes that a priest who is in mourning for one of the seven close relatives does not bless the people during the Shiva period.

Without Joseph laying the foundation for them in Egypt, they never would have survived the exile spiritually intact.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/stand-up-and-be-counted/2014/05/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: