Bamidbar by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Scene: Open Wilderness—nothing but sand, rocks, and thornbushes, a harsh, burning desert expanse. Vultures circle overhead. We behold a long, undulating line of people—men, women, children—old, young, middle-aged—gathered around a tall rock, from which a bony, aged, bearded elder, obviously the leader, barks orders. He is Moshe ben Amram, Leader and Rabbi of Israel. Because of his age, and the possible strain on his voice, his words are repeated on all four sides by Tribal Chieftains, who use arm-signals and ram’s-horns to try to organize the multitude into a semblance of marching order.

Bamidbar By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Bamidbar ( במדבר) Torah Portion: Numbers 1:1 – 4:20 Haftarah: Hosea 2:1 – 2:22   Scene: Open Wilderness—nothing but sand, rocks, and thistle-bushes, a harsh expanse unrelieved by any natural features. Vultures circle overhead. We behold a long, undulating line of people—men, women, children—old, young, middle-aged—gathered around a tall rock, from which a bony, aged, […]

Bamidbar by David Hartley Mark

I turn to this week’s Torah portion, the first in the Book of Numbers, Sefer BaMidbar, literally, “In the Wilderness.” It is a relief, after the dry, priestly-purity legislation of Vayikra/Leviticus, to find some narrative leavening the endless Torah laws. God commands Moses to number the people, and here, my hackles rise: census-counting is never […]

Bamidbar by David Hartley Mark

I was grading my college class papers, when I realized I had yet to write my essay for the Parshat HaShavua—the Weekly Torah Portion, Bamidbar, “In the Wilderness.” Quickly finding a synopsis online, I was not heartened to see that it appeared, at first glance, to be Biblical Boilerplate, Scriptural Statistics: all Census and Tribal […]

Shabbat Bamidbar (May 25th, 2012)

Download the siddur for this prayer service by clicking here.