The Ohr HaChaim at the beginning of Bamidbar asks why HaShem waited a month before counting Klal Yisrael, and how Klal Yisrael could have gained 3,550 from Mitzraim (600,000) to the Eigel (603,550) in spite of heavy losses yet have exactly the same number by the Mishkan with no losses whatsoever. He answers that the Leviim were counted by the Eigel but not at the Mishkan. Including that extra month, the 22,000 gained balanced out with the 22,000 Leviim not counted. Why did HaShem want to ensure the later number wasn't less than the earlier number? So that it didn't appear that Klal Yisrael lost people.

Yet, we find in Parshas Pinchas, when they're counted 40 years later, they indeed decreased almost 2,000 people (601,730)! So how can he say HaShem wants to keep the numbers going upwards when we find that they dropped off?

  • So he shoulda counted also younger people, or also females, I guess, like he counted also Levi. Interesting. – msh210 May 22 '17 at 6:14

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