Entries in BaMidbar (7)
Every detail of the Jewish people’s sojourn in the desert was choreographed by G-d. The twelve tribes were divided into four formations, each consisting of three tribes. While each tribe had its own distinctively colored flag, there were an additional four flags, one for each of the tribal formations.
…the desert is the state of total self-abnegation, the Hebrew word for which is bittul. Bittul allows us to combine assertiveness and humility. We become totally receptive to the Divine teachings of the Torah when we are self-effacing. Once we receive G-d’s Torah in its purest state and are devoid of personal agendas, our assertiveness (which may appear to some as arrogance and an inflated ego) is actually an expression of G-d’s authority, not our own. The “desert” personality is simultaneously the most humble person and the most assertive and authoritative person because he is channeling G-d’s authority.
What is the connection between the end of VaYikra and the beginning of BaMidbar? The very last verse of VaYikra, which summarizes the idea that the commandments of the Torah were given to Moses and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. How does this theme tie in with the idea of no substitution and counting?
Moshiach must be steeped in the Torah and indeed possesses the soul of Moses. Moshiach must also be the one to inspire the Jewish people and gather them together with feelings of love and unity; the role of Aaron. And finally, Moshiach must also know how to cultivate the individual talents of every Jew and cherish his or her individual contribution.
Yet, on Shavuos the Eibeshter Himself descended with all of His hordes and hosts of angels and declared to us: YOU COUNT! He indicated to us that He desires a dwelling place specifically on this lowly, negligible, insignificant spot in His vast creation. And He wants it to be effected by the conduct of these lowly, unimportant beings – these insignificant specks of humanity. That is to say: you and I!