Messages on Numbers

The Census. More statutes and laws. Adventures of the Hebrews en route to Canaan through the desert.

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)[This is an edited version of CTC weekly-Heir Flow– 5774-2014]An Heir with Due Care

When Moses asked G-d to appoint a successor, the Midrash says that G-d answered Before you command Me concerning My children, command My children concerning Me. Moses proceeded to command the Jewish people concerning the laws of the daily and holiday sacrifices. What quality must a Jewish leader possess? When the Jewish people feared that Moses would not […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)Don’t Sweat It

He perceived no iniquity in Jacob, and saw no perversity in Israel” (23:21)The Hebrew word amal, translated here as “perversity,” has a second meaning, “toil.” It is an expression for work, especially laborious and exhausting work. Ohr HaChaim (1696-1743) uses this translation to give a unique interpretation to Balaam’s words: “He saw no exhaustion in Israel.” Balaam perceived that […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Bamidbar/Shavuos 5780-2020You Count!

When the cycle for the weekly Torah readings was established centuries ago, this week’s Parsha was designated specifically to be read this Shabbos. I.e. the reading is from the first few chapters of the Torah’s fourth book, Numbers and always proceeds the holiday of Shavuos. What connection is there between this week’s Parsha and Shavuos, the festival commemorating the […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly-Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) Time to Repair

This week’s Parsha introduces us to an anti-Semite named Balak. He hired the wicked Bilaam to destroy the Jews; Bilaam agreed and even attempted to do so but was unsuccessful. At one point, Bilaam uttered a remarkable statement; something we would not have expected to come from the mouth of such a malicious person.Let me […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Behalotcha (Numbers 8-12)Alex Trebek and the Gift We All Possess

 Miriam (Moses’ sister) spoke negatively about Moses to Aaron, their brother. As result, she broke out in tzaras, a form of leprosy that existed only in biblical times; it emerged when a person spoke lashon hara, negative talk-non beneficial criticism. Moses prayed for Miriam, but the prayer was just five words.Moses cried out to G-d, saying, “Please, G-d, […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89) Disguising One’s Blessings

G-d spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, This is how you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them:       May G-d bless you and watch over you.                                     May G-d cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you.                                             May G-d raise His countenance toward you and grant you […]