Weekly Sidra: Bamidbar (In the Wilderness)
Torah Portion: Bamidbar / Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftorah: Hoshea / Hosea 2:1-2:22
“The number of the people of Israel shall be like that of the sands of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted; and instead of being told, "You are Not-My-People," they shall be called Children-of-the-Living-God. 2 The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall assemble together and appoint one head over them; and they shall rise from the ground — for marvellous shall be the day of Jezreel! (Hosea 2:1-3)
This week we start not only a new portion, but also a new book Bamidbar (In the Wilderness), or Numbers as it is called in English.
Bamidbar starts with God commanding Moses to take a census of Israel. What is up with that, why does God need to count the people? Doesn’t God know how many Israelites are in the wilderness? The answer of course is yes, so why does God need the count?
I believe the answer can be found in this week’s Haftarah portion. Hosea declares in the opening “The number of the people of Israel shall be like that of the sands of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted; and instead of being told, "You are Not-My-People," they shall be called Children-of-the-Living-God.”
The answer to the question is that God counts His people as a reminder to us that His covenant with us is forever. It is the covenant that was proclaimed when the Torah was given on Mount Sinai. I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Now Israel was not perfect. They made many mistakes and disobeyed the commandments of God constantly. Yet, no matter how far they went astray, God still counted them among His people.
That is what God wants us who are part of the Torah covenant to know. No matter how bad things get and how far we stray the words of Hosea ring out!
“Oh, call your brothers "My People," And your sisters "Lovingly Accepted!" Amen!!
Tags: bamidbar, census, children of the living god, commandments of god, covenant, god need, haftarah, hosea 2, israelites, jezreel, judah, mdash, moses, mount sinai, nbsp, reminder, rsquo, sidra, torah portion, wilderness
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