May 21, 2020 / 27 Iyar, 5780 • Parshat Bamdbar
Issue 615
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Take a Census

Take a census of all the adult males of the congregation of the Israelites by families...Thus you will have an exact head count of every male

Bemidbar 1:2

Counting something is a way of showing that we value it. By counting how much of something we possess, we express how much each unit of the aggregate whole adds to the value of the whole and how indispensable each unit is to the whole.

In this census, the fact that each Jew counted for one -- neither more nor less -- indicates that every Jew is equally dear to G-d, as an individual.

Every Jew possesses this invaluable worth by virtue of his or her unique soul-essence. By virtue of this essence, which the simplest Jew possesses no less than did Moses, all Jews are all equally G-d's children.

When we recognize this, we, too, will cherish and never dismiss or overlook any Jew.

From Kehot's Chumash

Synagogue Edition