Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Bamidbar

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This week’s Torah portion is Bamidbar. It marks the beginning of the fourth book of the Torah, which we call by the same name. In several places, the Sages refer to this book as “חומש הפקודים – the Chumash of Counting[1].” The apparent reason is that this book begins with a census of the Jewish Nation.

The Parshah tells us that[2] “These are the descendants of Aharon and Moshe on the day that Hashem spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai.” Despite this, the Torah only lists the children of Aharon! Rashi explains that[3]Only the Torah only mentions the sons of Aharon. They are considered descendants of Moshe because he taught them Torah. This teaches us that whoever teaches Torah to the son of his fellow man, the Torah considers it as if he had begotten him.”

If teaching someone Torah is considered as if he had begotten him, it would seem to only apply to one’s first teacher. After all, people are not born twice. Why should this apply to “whoever teaches Torah to the son of his fellow man?”

We can explain this based on the Baal Shem Tov’s teaching that creation is not a one-time event. Instead, Hashem constantly creates the world and everything in it[4]. Based on this, we understand that He makes each individual’s being every moment.

Torah is[5] “our life and the length of our days.” Based on this, the moment “one teaches Torah to the son of his fellow man,” he is receiving his renewed vitality from Hashem via Torah. That is why Hashem is creating him from new. Accordingly, we can understand that by Torah study, one is being born anew.

We are all preparing for Shavuos, the time of the giving of our Torah. Now, we must remember and live with the Torah “our life and the length of our days.”

I wish one and all a Good Shabbos! May we all receive the Torah with joy and internalize it within ourselves!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 23, Pages 8 ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. See for example Talmud Yuma, 68, b.

[2]. Our Parshah, Bamidbar 3:1.

[3]. See Rashi’s comments Ibid, ibid.

[4]. This is explained at length in the first chapter of Shaar Hayichud Vehoemunah.

[5]. See the blessings of Shema in the evening service.

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