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Questions tagged [bamidbar-parsha]

The weekly Torah portion of Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1–4:20)

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Why take census of Levis two ways, from 1 month and between ages 30 & 50?

The tribes of Levi are counted twice: (a) from age one month with no upper age limit, and (b) from age 30 to 50. Why is the first count needed? (This described in parshot Bamidbar and Naso.)
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generality and specificity in Numbers 1:1

The very beginning of Bamidbar reads: וידבר ה׳ אל משה במדבר סיני באהל מועד באחד לחדש השני בשנה השנית לצאתם מארץ מצרים לאמר God spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert, in the designation tent, on the ...
msh210's user avatar
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What's the point in the census in Bamidbar?

Do any commentaries discuss why Hashem told Moshe to take a census in parshas Bamidbar? Hashem knew how many people there were and censuses are generally forbidden, so what was the point in the ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
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Parashas Bamidbar: a preparation for Shavuos

In different sources, it is explained that the sidra of Bamidbar Sinai be read before the holiday of Shavuos. The Netziv, in his introduction to sefer Bamidbar, mentions the fact that Bamidbar is ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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Were the *meraglim* also the *nesi'im*?

The meraglim were each chosen to represent each tribe. Why wouldn't the nasi of each tribe be the representative, as they were during the consecration of the Mishqan?
Nach Roth's user avatar
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Who carried the kiyor?

In Parshas Bamidbar and Nasso the Pesukim list which families in Shevet Levy carried which items in the Mishkan. However nowhere does it say who carried the kiyor. Who carried it? Why doesn't it say ...
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Unusually high ratio of Levites to Firstborn-Levites

Near the beginning of the Book of Numbers (from roughly 3:39 to 3:51), G-d commands that all the firstborn Israelite males need to be redeemed via a 1:1 'trade' with a Levite. There were 22,000 ...
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Why mention "the wilderness" in the opening of Bamidbar?

The Torah says: וַיְדַבֵּ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֛ה בְּמִדְבַּ֥ר סִינַ֖י בְּאֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד -- The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting. [Numbers 1:1] Ibn Ezra and ...
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Repetition in Bamidbar

In Bamidbar (1,18) it says: וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־הָעֵדָ֜ה הִקְהִ֗ילוּ בְּאֶחָד֙ לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וַיִּתְיַֽלְד֥וּ עַל־מִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֑ם בְּמִסְפַּ֣ר שֵׁמ֗וֹת מִבֶּ֨ן עֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֛ה ...
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Were the Mitzvos given because of counting of Bnei Yisrael in Bamidbar?

I was reading a Dvar Torah by a prominent Rosh Yeshiva where he stated that Chazal say that the connection between the end of Sefer Vayikra: אלה המצות אשר צוה יהוה את־משה אל־בני ישראל בהר סיני These ...
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Why is Parsha Naso (and Bamidbor) all mixed up?

Seemingly unrelated topics are all intertwined: First it's the counting of the Jews and then Levites. But then comes Nazir, Sotah, additional laws of stealing... And the Levites themselves are not ...
larry909's user avatar
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Why were Leah and Bilhah's tribes larger than Rachel and Zilpah's?

I plotted the census results given in Bamidbar, and it struck me that the tribes descended from Rachel are very small. In contrast, those descended from Leah have population counts between average and ...
Leopold says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
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Levi's role before Golden Calf

On the one hand it appears the tribe of Levi was granted their role as those who serve in the Mishkan/Beis Hamikdash from Bamibdar (3:12) וַאֲנִ֞י הִנֵּ֧ה לָקַ֣חְתִּי אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֗ם מִתּוֹךְ֙ ...
NJM's user avatar
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Bamidbar Census does not add up

Why does the census of Bamidbar 1.20-43 come to a sum of 603,550 when the total tribal count is 637,800? There is a difference between the total tribal count (637,800) and the pasuk (verse) in 1:46 ...
Yochanan Mauritz Hummasti's user avatar
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603,550 Jews at Sinai and 603,550 Jews Entering Promised Land?

Why in Exodus 38:26 does it say there were 603,550 men over age 20, and then in Numbers 1:46 the exact same number (603,550) is again listed? Didn’t all the Jews of the generation in Exodus all die ...
Ben Fuzze's user avatar
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Tzelophechad's daughters and temeim of Pesach Sheini

The two instances of למה יגרע; the Temeim and Tzelophechad's daughters are written, in one sense, as if a new halachah of yerushah and Pesach Sheini was created for them based on their circumstances. ...
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Why are the numbers not written down in Ki Sisa?

According to the very first Rashi in Seder Bamidbar: מתוך חיבתן לפניו מונה אותם כל שעה כשיצאו ממצרים מנאן וכשנפלו בעגל מנאן לידע מנין הנותרים כשבא להשרות שכינתו עליהן מנאן. באחד בניסן הוקם המשכן ...
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The encampment around the Tabernacle: What did it look like?

Based on Bamidbar/Numbers 2:2 the Israelites had to pitch their tents by tribe around the Ohel Mo'ed/Mishkan. But what I would like to know is How it would look from above? What shape would it be (...
Levi's user avatar
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Facing the Tent of Meeting from the tents of the people?

Balaam saw that the tent openings of the Israelites do not face each other; rather each opening was behind the next one, so that no one would look in the house of his friend. (BT Bava Batra 60a) I ...
Levi's user avatar
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The purpose of the detailed counting of Benei Yisrael in the Torah

We know that all letter in the Torah has a purpose. A lot of laws are learned from a little thing in the Torah, etc. What is the purpose of all the details in the counting of Benei Yisrael in ...
yO_'s user avatar
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Explain the anomaly in Bemidbar 2:20

In viewing the 4 groups of 3 encampments mentioned at the beginning of sidra Bemidbar, I noticed that regarding the 2nd tribe in each group, the Torah uses the phrase והחונים עליו ("The ones camping ...
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The tribe of the families

Numbers 4:18 reads: אַל-תַּכְרִיתוּ, אֶת-שֵׁבֶט מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי, מִתּוֹךְ, הַלְוִיִּם how should I understand the combination שֵׁבֶט מִשְׁפְּחֹת? My translation reads: Cut ye not off the tribe ...
Levi's user avatar
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In Bamidbar 4:3 they had to be 30 yrs old; in Bamidbar 8:24 they were 25 yrs old; why?

Bamidbar 4:3 "...from thirty years old and above even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting." Bamidbar 8:24 "...from twenty-five years old and ...
B A Malinowski's user avatar
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Why is there an extra "vav" when discussing the age range for the census of the Kehat family?

Kudos to my shul's chazzan for pointing out this anomaly... When discussing the census of Kehat, Bemidbar 4:3 says: מבן שלושים שנה ומעלה ועד בן חמשים שנה There is a vav before the word עד But, ...
DanF's user avatar
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What were the approximate ages of the heads of house(niseim) in parshat bamidbar. Above or below 60 years old

Having just read last weeks parsha bamidbar. I wanted to know approximately how old the heads of house (niseim) of Israel were when the jews were counted. Were they older than 60 and they were not ...
javadev's user avatar
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Census only those below 60

Numbers 1:3 says the census is for men above the age of 20. I have this fact in my head that it was only for those below the age of 60. Is that true? If so, where is the source?
robev's user avatar
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Why is it in the merit of flags that Klall Yisoel becomes worthy to be redeemed?

I saw in the Midrash Tanchuma on Parshas Bamidbar the following: (Source provided by Sefaria.org) אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה, נִתְאַוֵּיתֶם לִדְגָלִים, וּמִלֵּאתִי ...
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Four countings of Klal Yisrael - HaShem doesn't want us to decrease

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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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In Bemidbar 2.14 , it says רעואל is the father of Eliasaph. Isn't the father of Eliasaph דעואל?

This is the only instance I know of that רעואל is known as the father of Eliasaph , דעואל is known as the father of Eliasaph in bemidbar 1.14, and 3 other places, the resh and the Dalet are very ...
david macias jr's user avatar
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Explain the anomaly in the placement of the tribe of Gad in Bamidbar chapter 1

In Bamidbar 1:14, when listing the heads of the tribes, Gad comes between Asher and Naftali and is in the 11th position. However, when citing the tribal census, Gad appears after Shim'on and is in ...
DanF's user avatar
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2 votes
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Relative number of firstborn [duplicate]

I have been wondering about this for a while: In Bamidbar, 3:43, it mentions that the number of firstborn males (one month and older) was 22,273. Now, we were just told that the number of total ...
Nic's user avatar
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Did women and Levites survive the 40 years in the wilderness?

In Bamidbar 14:29-30 God decrees the consequences of the people believing a bad report from the spies: בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה יִפְּלוּ פִגְרֵיכֶם וְכָל-פְּקֻדֵיכֶם, לְכָל-מִסְפַּרְכֶם, מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
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1 answer
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Timing of the Princes' Appointment

Parshas Bamidbar begins with the apparent appointing of 12 nesiim (princes) who would help Moshe with the counting (and presumably have some other administrative or authoritative role). Parshas Naso ...
הנער הזה's user avatar
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Numbers in Numbers - always round [duplicate]

Why is it that the numbers in the censuses taken in the desert always contain round numbers? Generally speaking, with the only exception being Gad, all the numbers seem to be rounded to the hundreds, ...
Jewels's user avatar
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Bamidbar: What makes Shimon different?

During krias haTorah, I noticed that while during the counting, most tribes were counted like this (taking Yehuda as an example): לבני יהודה תולדתם למשפחתם לבית אבותם במספר שמות מבן עשרים שנה ומעלה ...
MTL's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
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Why does the tribe of Gad have an unusual population count in Bamidbar 1?

When listing the census of the tribes in Bamidbar 1, only the tribe of Gad has the count 45,650 - I.e. - the count is not exactly on the hundreds as it is with all the other tribes. As the count was ...
DanF's user avatar
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5 votes
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Responding to an army draft before 20

מבן עשרים שנה ומעלה, כל-יוצא צבא בישראל--תפקדו אותם לצבאותם, אתה ואהרון. (במדבר א:ג)‏ Rashi, commenting on Bamidbar 1:3, says that you should not join the army younger than 20. Is it ...
Scimonster's user avatar
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Where did the converts camp in the desert?

When the Bnai Yisrael left Egypt, many converts left with them. Shmot 12:38: וְגַם עֵרֶב רַב עָלָה אִתָּם וְצֹאן וּבָקָר מִקְנֶה כָּבֵד מְאֹד: And also, a great mixed multitude went up with them, and ...
Danield's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why does the Torah give the number of members of each tribe at the beginning of Bamidbar/Numbers?

We Torah-observant Jews learn that every letter of the Wriiten Torah is important. In many cases, this is clear (like for instance, the first sentence of the Written Torah). But there are sentences ...
Craig Feinstein's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
870 views

What happened to the bechorim (first-borns)?

In the begining of sefer bamidbar, the males between 20 and 60 are counted and it says that there are over 600,000 of them. Theoretically each, or most, of these people should have had a first-born ...
2345678876543's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
284 views

Why does parshat bamidbar repeat census information?

It seems that the 3rd aliyah in Bamidbar needlessly repeats the information given in the 1st and second aliyah First Aliyah: Lists the leaders of each tribe Second Aliyah: gives us the census ...
Menachem's user avatar
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Bamidbar or Bemidbar?

What is the name of this week's parsha? What about the sefer? The text clearly says "Bemidbar" (or B'midbar), but many call it Bamidbar. Is this a grammatical or traditional difference? Could one ever ...
Jeremy's user avatar
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