Questions tagged [census]

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Why did Moshe start to count from only the twenty years and above in Bamidbar 1?

When counting the number of the Israelites in Bamidbar 1 Moshe only counts those who are twenty and above which somehow seems to be the age of responsibility. After having refused to enter Canaan all ...
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8 votes
5 answers
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Why is Israel called "the smallest of peoples"?

The passuk reads: לֹ֣א מֵֽרֻבְּכֶ֞ם מִכׇּל־הָֽעַמִּ֗ים חָשַׁ֧ק יְהֹוָ֛ה בָּכֶ֖ם וַיִּבְחַ֣ר בָּכֶ֑ם כִּֽי־אַתֶּ֥ם הַמְעַ֖ט מִכׇּל־הָעַמִּֽים׃ It is not because you are the most numerous of peoples ...
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National censuses in the Diaspora

Shalom. It is census time in my country (the U.K.). I have been wondering how Jews have historically dealt with these requests on the part of foreign governments. Obviously the members of one’s ...
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Do any Jewish sources give a non-literal interpretation of the census in Bamidbar?

Are there any classical commentators that state that "elef" didn't literally mean 1 thousand, or something else to that effect, that would result in a smaller number? I am reading Ani Maamin ...
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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 were the Israelites punished on account of King David's census?

In 2 Samuel 24, King David orders a census, against the advice of his chief of staff, Joab. Then God becomes angry and 70,000 people die of a plague. David is repentant: But afterward David ...
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How large was the Babylonian Jewish community? [closed]

The Roman census of the year 48 CE, ordered by Emperor Claudius, reported 7 million Jews in the Roman Empire, which was 10% of the population. Today, the best estimates place the number of Jews ...
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2 votes
2 answers
365 views

Why was it wrong for David to number Israel?

(This is not a duplicate of halacha - Why was King David Punished for Sending Others to Conduct a Census? - Mi Yodeya.) 1 Chronicles 21, and 2 Samuel 24 relate how King David took it upon himself to ...
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Numbers 1 gives a total of 603550, but the real total is 563,050

I have done some digging and I cannot seem to find anywhere where people try to explain this apparent discrepancy. Numbers 1 says the total number of Israelites were 603,550. However, if you add up ...
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Has anyone determined or approximated how many Cohanim entered Cana'an?

A co-worker told me, yesterday, that he noticed that most shuls tend to have more Cohanim than Levi'im. He says that seems strange. I can't say for what occurs in shuls, but, he did conclude that ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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David's census issue

Why was David's census so unpleasant to our Creator? Was it a sin? If so, why? What is wrong in doing a census? There were previous censuses made and there were no problems.
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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, ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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?
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why was King David Punished for Sending Others to Conduct a Census?

If there is no agency for sin, why was King David punished for sending people out to conduct a (forbidden) census? (Explanation of agency: The Talmud says "ein sheliach l'dvar averia," which means, ...
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  • 7,347
9 votes
3 answers
315 views

Why does the census "of all who are able to go forth to war" include a few women?

The census in Bamidbar 26 is directed thus: Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all that are able to go forth ...
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7 votes
1 answer
244 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 ...
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