Parsha Talk Shavuot – Bemidbar 2022 5872

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Eliot Kalmanofsky. We begin a new book of the Torah this week, Sefer B’midbar [the Book of Numbers], with the opening parashah [Numbers 1:1–4:20] also named b’midbar [literally, “in the wilderness (of)”, which is the setting for the opening chapters]. This parashah is concerned with the tribal census of fighting men, which is what influenced the Greek, then Latin name for the book, which made its way into English as Numbers.
Immediately upon the conclusion of Shabbat begins the holiday of Shavuot, the holiday of first-fruits, which the rabbis designate as z’man mattan torateinu, the season of the giving of the Torah. We devote our conversation this week to the holiday of Shavuot and the theme of revelation. We may pick up b’midbar when we return to our regular schedule next week with parashat Naso, which completes the levitical census, the enumeration of the 3 principal clans of the tribe of Levi and a detailing of their tabernacle responsibilities. In the meanwhile, Shabbat Shalom and Chag Same’ach!