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Parsha Bamidbar

In this week's parsha the Almighty commands Moshe to take a census. Moshe is to count all the males from the age of 20 and up, excluding the Levites. They are to be counted seperately, from the age of one month and up. The reason for making 2 groups is because the Almighty saw into the future that a decree would come down on all those who were included in the count from 20 and older to die in the desert because of the sins of the golden calf and the spies. Since the Levites were free of sin by the golden calf the Almighty made sure to make them into a seperate group by counting them from a different age.

The question is why should it matter if the Levites were in the same census group as everyone? Shouldn't the bad decree fall only onto those who deserved the punishment?

The answer is that which group one belongs to makes a lot of difference. Hashem judges us both individually and communally. He wants us to be part of groups, whether it be the group of community, Yeshiva, Shul or others. However, we have to make sure if possible that we are part of a good group because what happens to the group will happen to everyone in the group.

The Levites weren't totally clean. They participated in the debacle of the spies and in one sense deserved the decree that fell onto everyone else. But since they didn't participate in the golden calf the Almighty made sure to group them apart from the rest and thus save them from the bad decree.

Rabbi Beryl Glaser

Parsha Bamidbar classes on Youtube


PARSHAS BAMIDBAR "What Is The Center of Your Universe?"

by Rabbi Dovid Horowitz