BeMidbar (Numbers 1:1 - 4:20)
Meaning of the Torah portion name
BeMidbar, literally "in the Desert", is thus named because it begins with commandments given by God to Moses in the Sinai Desert.
The portion begins with a command to Moses to conduct a census of all the Israelite males from the age of twenty. We are then given a list of all the tribes of Israel, their current leaders in the desert, and the count for each tribe.
The portion then continues with a description of the Israelite camp in the desert and the way it was set up: Judah leading the eastern camp which included the tribes of Judah, Issacar and Zebulun; Reuben leading the Southern camp which included the tribes of Reuben, Simeon and Gad; Ephraim leading the western camp which included the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin; and Dan leading the northern camp which included the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali.
After this detailed description, the results of a more detailed census of the priests and Levites, all members of the tribe of Levi which traveled in the center of the camp, are given. We are told of the specific tasks entrusted to each of the Levite families and how each of the furnishings of the Tabernacle is to be transported when the Israelites travel.
List of dates
|23 May 2009|
|15 May 2010|
|28 May 2011|