A gitten erev Shabbos! This week’s parsha is Parshas Bamidbor. Tonight is also the 43rd day of Sefirah and we have officially entered the last week, the week of Malchus in the Sefirah of Chesed Sh’b’Malchus.
Parshas Bamidbor is primarily concerned with the Pekudah (census in this context) of Klal Yisroel in Midbar Sinai on the first of Iyar in the second year after being freed from Mitzrayim by Hashem. This counting was done through Machatzis HaShekel (Half-Shekel of Silver). The Ramban brings that this is part of how Dovid HaMelech erred; he wanted to know how many people he had in his kingdom, without reason other than pride, and he didn’t count them through the Machatzis HaShekel, rather he counted them directly. Rashi says the multiple censuses is because Hashem loves Klal Yisroel so much He enjoys counting us at all times, from when we left Mitzrayim, how many had fallen by the Cheit HaEigel in order to know how many were left; and in order to rest the Shechinah on us, He must know how many Yidden there are.
The Kedushas Levi states in relation to the posuk כאשר צוה
השם את משה ויפקדם במדבר סיני, that Hashem gave the Torah to Klal Yisroel, and the neshomos of Klal Yisroel are contained within the body of the Torah, because Am Yisroel are the 600,000 letters of the Torah. He goes on to explain that the Oros Ruchaniyos, the Spiritual Lights are contracted into the Mishkan, and that Klal Yisroel are also lights of the Torah. There are those who understand the Torah strictly through the intellectual level, and then there are those who can behold the flow of Shefa (Divine Influence and Bounty) comes from the Highest to the Intellect.
So what can we take from this?
The important thing to remember is that Hashem loves us, and He looked into the Torah to create the world, according to the Zohar HaKodosh. Hashem Himself is also entirely one with the Torah, according to another section of the Zohar. The fact that every Yid has a letter in the Torah, and is hence inherently connected to the Torah, is a huge deal. Whenever you feel down and depressed and like you can’t serve Hashem, this is what must be remembered, the message of this parsha that Hashem loves every Yid so much He loves to just count Klal Yisroel, and that we are all connected to Torah. I’ve heard the sentiment before that it’s “Too hard” to be religious or Shomer Shabbos itself even, that it’s for “special people” to be frum and ovdei Hashem. The emes is we are all intrinsically connected to the Torah, the only thing we need to do is work on learning.
The end of the parsha has to do with the transport of the Aron HaKodesh, and the wrappings of t’cheiles and argomon, tola’as shoni (respectively: blue, purple-ish, and red). In the Aron were the Luchos (tablets), the originals written by Hashem Himself that Moshe broke, along with the two he had to write by dictation. What we can see from this is the incredible kovod we have to give for the Torah. We can’t treat Torah just as some extra thing in our lives, like a newspaper or maybe as a sociological study. We have to treat Torah as the incredibly precious treasure it is through beautifying our mitzvos through proper kavonno and using beautiful implements for these within our means, dedicating whatever time we have to learning and avodas Hashem, and genuinely setting Torah as the key focus of our lives. When we do this, we can bring about great Rach’mei Shomayim (Heavenly Mercy), and general brochos, as it is brought in Shmuel Beis when the Aron stayed by Oved-Edom HaGiti that he was bentsht by Hashem that his wife and eight daughters in law had sextuplets; so through rendering proper honor for the Torah and talmidei chachomim can we receive such brochos and im yirtzeh Hashem bring about the Geulah swifter.