Parsha Talk Bemidbar 5784 2024

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat B’midbar [Numbers 1:1-4:20] is the first parashah in the Book of Numbers, which deals in episodic form with the 40-year wilderness wanderings. As Jacob Milgrom notes in his JPS Commentary to Numbers, the book’s treatment of this time frame is uneven. The first section [1:1-10:11] takes place over 19 days in the second month of the second year, while the third and final section [21:10-36:15] occurs “within five months of the fortieth year”, leaving the middle section to take place sometime during the intervening 38 years.
As befits a book which we call in English Numbers, we spent most of our conversation talking about numbers and how we might make sense of them. We hope you enjoy it!
We are ever mindful of the hostages and their families, and the men and women who defend Israel as soldiers in the Israel Defense Force. May the hostages be speedily returned to their homes; may the soldiers be removed from harm’s way. Shabbat Shalom.