Weekly Message 05.22.2020 Parashat- Bamidbar
BAMIDBAR (IN THE DESERT) Numbers 1:1 - 4:1-20
Happy Yom Yerushalayim!
I hope that you found last night's program in honor of this, our newest holiday to be entertaining and inspiring, and that this Jerusalem Day finds you healthy and safe as we continue to endure the pandemic. This week, we begin a new book of the Torah (Bamidar or Numbers) and a new month (Sivan) as we continue to count the Omer in anticipation of the major festival of Shavuot which is now only a week away! We have now completed three books of the Torah: Genesis (Bereshit), Exodus (Shmot), and Leviticus (Vayikra).
We have been introduced to most of the commandments (MItzvot) and as we begin the book of Numbers (Bamidar), we see that a census of the Hebrew nation is launched. We learn that the adult male population (those that could be conscripted into military service) now numbered over 600,000 potentially making the Hebrew nation a formidable force. The census also made it possible to delineate the roles of its citizens and leaders in the wilderness and eventually in the promised land. We are struck with the care and precision that this census was accomplished despite the huge obstacle of our ancestors living in a nomadic state with so much uncertainty. It is fitting then that we read this portion of the Torah in the midst of our being uncertain about the future and also in midst of compiling the critical 2020 United States census. Just as it was in biblical times, completing today's census is of great importance in determining our own future. Our entire democracy depends on its accuracy just as it always has. If we all do our duty to fill in the form and return it promptly, we ensure that our state gets its fair share of federal funds and its proper representation in our federal government. So lets all learn from the beginning of the Book of Numbers and perform our civic duty just as the Hebrew nation did many years ago.
This Shabbat is also known as Machor Chodesh, or the eve of the new month. As such, we read a special Haftorah from the Book of Samuel, the story of the beloved friendship of David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Even though David was considered a rival to the throne, Jonathan's love and loyalty to his friend resulted in saving David's life and ultimately, to his becoming the next King. So between our Torah portion and the special Haftorah, we are prepared to embark on a new month and pray that our own circumstances will continue to be alleviated during this continued difficult moment in our history.
Tonight you have a choice in how you participate in the service which begins at 7:30 pm as usual. The synagogue sanctuary will be open for you to attend in person. In addition, I will be "Zooming" in on the computer. To continue participating remotely from home as we have been doing since the pandemic began, please follow the instructions below. If you attend in person, please follow all "social distancing" protocol and wear a mask. If you don't have one, it will be provided for you. In either case, I'm looking forward to seeing you tonight.
Ron Becker, Spiritual Leader
The following instructions have also been sent via email:
Beth Tefillah is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Beth Tefillah
Time: May 22, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 608 214 9425