BeMidbar - 5780
Numbers 1:1 – 4:20
A story from Rabbi Craig Ezring:
During the Corona Virus Lockdown, many parents wound up working from home via their computers. They also had to make sure that their children were doing their schoolwork. One Mother, who happens to be an Accountant came up with a great idea. She knew her little one enjoyed doing the same things she was doing. When they went to the market, Mamma got a big cart and her daughter got a little one. When Mamma was busy cooking in the kitchen, her daughter loved to play with the pots and pans and a play oven.
So when the mother had to do her work on the computer, she set up a little table right next to her and put her daughter’s computer on the table so they could do their work right next to each other.
The idea was working well, but at one point, the little girl got up from her seat and bent down and started grabbing her mother’s toes one right after another.
Her mom began to gently scold her saying, “Sweetie, this isn’t play time, this is work time”. To which the little one replied, “But mommy, I am doing my schoolwork, it’s math time and after I counted to ten on my fingers and ten on my toes, I needed to count on you”.
“I needed to count on you.”
This is what it means to be in a family, in a friendship, in a community. This is how we get through the joys and the challenges of our lives. This is how we get to the Promised Land. We count on each other.
Parashat Bemidbar not only begins a new book of the Torah (Numbers) but a new stage in our journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The entire portion is a census of Israel (and the census is so long that it continues into next week’s parasha). As each and every Israelite is counted, their dignity is elevated from that of a slave to that of a free person, for the first Israelite census taught all of Israel that they count – and can be counted on
The same is true for us today. Now more than ever, we need to count on each other. We need to ask for help when we need it and give support when we are able. Now more than ever the skills, intention, and blessings we have to offer make a difference – they truly count. And, now more than ever we need to make sure to participate in the national census and register to vote, because each one of us counts.
This is the Torah for finding our way from the Wilderness to the Promise … then and now.
Count on it.