This week’s Torah portion, Parashat B’Midbar, is the 34th (34/54 or 52, depending on the year: this year, 5782, we read 54 separate parshiot…) reading in the annual cycle, and the first parashah in the book of B’midbar/Numbers.
So, who counts, In The Desert, as B’Midbar (בְּמִדְבַּר) means, literally (ok, yes, the vocalization shown here is a stop, not the vowel “ah” for “in the desert” but rather “in desert” but…), as in:
1. who is counted (men of military age, in this case), and
2. who does the counting, or upon who’s orders is the count made, and why (I bet one hint might have to do with this week’s mention of hierarchy, again)?
The question of who is valued and why, and who sets those values, in a society, should change over time, and does, in fact.
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