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In the Wilderness

On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Eternal One spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, saying: "Take a census of the whole Israelite company…" - Numbers 1:1-2

  • God commands Moses to take a census of all the Israelite males over the age of twenty. (1:1-46)
  • The duties of the Levites, who are not included in the census, are detailed. (1:47-51)
  • Each tribe is assigned specific places in the camp around the Tabernacle. (1:52-2:34)
  • The sons of Levi are counted and their responsibilities are set forth. (3:1-3:39)
  • A census of the firstborn males is taken and a special redemption tax is levied on them. (3:40-51)
  • God instructs Moses and Aaron regarding the responsibilities of Aaron and his sons, and the duties assigned to the Kohathites. (4:1-20)


When do we read B'midbar?

2018 May 19
/5 Sivan, 5778


  • By Rabbi Vered L. Harris

    B’midbar opens with a commandment to take a census. It appears straightforward: as our ancestors traveled towards the Promised Land, they would have military encounters. Moses needed to know the cold, hard numbers of who was eligible to serve in the defense forces. The text goes into great detail on how to count the men who could serve.

  • Torah for Tots

    Explore B'midbar with questions and ideas for parents and their children on the topic of names, how we get them, and what they mean.

  • Torah for Tweens

    This Shabbat we begin reading the book of B'midbar, i.e., in the wilderness.

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