The Parsha Discussion: Bamidbar — Why Count the Nation?

Posted by Alex Israel on May 16, 2018
Topics: The Parsha Discussion, Bamidbar, Bamidbar (Numbers)

Parshat Bamidbar gives an exhaustive census of the Israelite nation in the wilderness, followed by the mapping of the wilderness encampment.

But what is the purpose of counting the nation? Why does God instruct Moses to take a census of the Children of Israel, and why at this historical juncture?

Please discuss:

  • Why count the people of Israel in the wilderness? What is the purpose?
  • Do they have a national census in your country? Is a national head-count a depersonalizing process or is it a procedure that actually acknowledges each and every citizen?

Click here to read more from Rabbi Alex Israel on Bamidbar: Why Count a Nation?

About Alex Israel

Alex teaches Bible at Pardes and is the Director of the Community Education Program and the Summer Program. Alex was born and raised in London. He holds degrees from London School of Economics, the Institute of Education London and Bar-Ilan University. Alex studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion under Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and Rav Yehudah Amital, and gained Rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. Click here to read more.

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