Bamidbar – Perasha Synopsis

‭As we begin the fourth book of the Torah known as Bamidbar, the first question one may have is why in English do we refer to this Perasha as the book of Numbers?G-d commanded Moshe and Aharon to take a tribe-by-tribe census. Moshe was already asked twice in the past to take a census of Bene Yisrael in the desert, what made this census special? Several reasons are given for this census:

1. As Bene Yisrael were very dear to G-d, He wanted to count them after every significant loss of life.
2. Each member of the nation had a right to benefit from the personal attention of Moshe and Aharon, and the census was a great opportunity for each individual to interact with Moshe and Aharon.
3. A census was necessary to prepare the military campaign to conquer the land of Israel and to apportion that land.

We are presented with the heads of each tribe, and the number of males above the age of twenty. At the time 630,550 were counted, excluding the tribe of Levi, who were asked to serve in the Tabernacle in place of the firstborn.

The Perasha describes the formation, and encampment location of each tribe around the Tabernacle.Each firstborn to a family, however, was supposed to serve in the Tabernacle. Once the Leviim were chosen instead of the firstborn, redemption of the firstborn was instituted. We refer to this as Pidyon HaBen. The money used to redeem the firstborn was given to the Kohen.The Perasha ends with a description of the work performed by Aharon and his children the Kohanim in order to transport the Tabernacle

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