Below is a collection of Parashat Bemidbar resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Question #1: Sefer Bemidbar begins with a census. Interestingly, the name of the book in English is “Numbers.” What kind of census will it be? Who will be counted? Men? Women? Children? Why are they counted now? God commanded a census to count the people as a symbol of His love. Can you think of something which is counted because of love?
Look inside the text (Bemidbar 1:3):
מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כָּל יֹצֵא צָבָא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל תִּפְקְדוּ אֹתָם לְצִבְאֹתָם אַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן – You and Aaron shall record them by their groups, from the age of twenty years up, all those in Israel who are able to bear arms.
Question #2: Parashat Bemidbar describes the way the Jewish people camped in the desert on their way to the land of Israel. The people were organized in a large square with the mishkan (Tabernacle) and the Levites in the middle. Each family camped with their tribe and each tribe had its own unique flag. The flags and their colors were influenced by the blessings that Jacob had given the tribes at the end of Sefer Bereshit. If you were to design a flag to represent your family, what picture would be on the flag?
Look inside the text (Bemidbar 1:52):
וְחָנוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ עַל מַחֲנֵהוּ וְאִישׁ עַל דִּגְלוֹ לְצִבְאֹתָם – The Israelites will encamp troop by troop, each man with his division and each under his standard.
Question #3: The organization of the camp of the Israelites places the mishkan (Tabernacle) at the center, highlighting its role as the thing which binds the people together. What stands at the center of your life? Your family life? What are the values which define the essence of your community?
Question #4: The tribe of Levi was marked for special status. It also happened to be the tribe of both Moses and Aaron. How far must we go to avoid the appearance of nepotism? Should we disqualify the best candidates because they have a special relationship with someone making the decisions? Which is more important – getting the best person for the job or maintaining respect for the system’s integrity?