Study Torah Carefully

Parshat Bamidbar consists of many technical points connected with the journey of the Jewish people in the desert. There is a census taken, and there is the distribution of the various jobs to maintain orderliness and stability.

A Parsha like this, makes one appreciate the brilliance of the Baal Haturim. He picks up on small details that add to the narrative. There are several examples. This census was managed by Moshe and Aharon. The previous census was only Moshe. That was right after the sin of the Golden Calf. It would not have been appropriate to have Aharon involved, because he actually made the Golden Calf. We say אין קטיגור נעשה סניגור, the prosecution cannot be the defense.

The letter”ל” is bent, called a “ל׳ עקומה,” when introducing us to the Tribe of Shimon. This hinted that only the tribe of Shimon had a corrupt leader. Shlumiel Ben Tzurishadai, was actually, Zimri, who was killed later by Pinchas.

The Baal Haturim also noted that each tribe was introduced with the word, לבני, “to the sons of.” When we came to Naftali, it says, בני נפתלי, without the “ל.” This was because Naftali was the only tribe that had more women than men.

A final point made by the Baal Haturim was connected to the Tribe of Dan. He wrote that they traveled last, because the idol known as פסל מיכה, came from their tribe.
This is a good example as to why we need to constantly review the weekly Parsha. Each time, we uncover new teachings and awarenesses, that were not there before.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at