This week’s parshat is Bamidbar (translated from Hebrew as ” in the desert”) covering Numbers 1:1-4:20.
In Bamidbar, Moses took the first census of the Israelites, counting members of the 12 tribes (in order of population) : Judah, Dan, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar,Naphtali, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Moses was instructed, by G-d, not to count the Levites, but to instead assign them to carrying, maintaining, and guarding the Tabernacle and its contents. Once counted, the tribes were then assigned a direction (North, East, South, or West) of the Tabernacle to encamp. The camping layout:
Moses continued the census and recorded the men by ancestral house or clan; the number of the first born Israelite males over one month of age; and Kohathite males in the 30-50 age bracket.
There are no commandments in Bamidbar, either negative or positive.
It is also the 38th day of the Omer, with candle lighting time on South Whidbey at 8:34 with havdalah at 9:43.
Translation, via JTS: http://learn.jtsa.edu/content/translations/bemidbar/torah-portion/bemidbar
Commentary available at:
Rabbi Ted Falcon: http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus/
“Funding for Whidbey Island Jewish Community was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Special Initiatives Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.”