Parashat B’Midbar, & Who Counts??

     This week’s Torah portion, Parashat B’Midbar,  is the 34th (34/54 or 52, depending on the year: this year, 5782, we read 54 separate parshiot…) reading in the annual cycle, and the first parashah in the book of B’midbar/Numbers.  

   So, who counts, In The Desert, as B’Midbar (בְּמִדְבַּר) means, literally (ok, yes, the vocalization shown here is a stop, not the vowel “ah” for “in the desert” but rather “in desert” but…), as in: 

1. who is counted (men of military age, in this case), and

2.  who does the counting, or upon who’s orders is the count made, and why (I bet one hint might have to do with this week’s mention of hierarchy, again)?

       The question of who is valued and why, and who sets those values, in a society, should change over time, and does, in fact.  

       What do you think our world would look like if we really examined that which makes us uncomfortable? 

     I look forward to hearing your opinions on this matter, Thoughtful Readers.

We can really  Do Better.



     Last week was: Parashat B’chukotai, & Whispers ,

     I look forward to hearing your opinions, Thoughtful Readers.

We can really  Do Better.


Action Prompts:

    Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in to create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please.   Guest posts are always welcome.  Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better

What would yours be, if you had time?


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Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs

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8 thoughts on “Parashat B’Midbar, & Who Counts??

  1. You asked about who counts in a society.

    Of course, everyone should count. Everyone bears the image (tselem) of God. If one actually believes this, one will look to encounter God in every person one meets. Not affirming that everyone counts holds societies back from their full potential in God.

    Mutuality is a principle in the Law of Moses. Mutuality (under God, in the Law of Moses) teaches that we are responsible to each other and for each other. I affirm these principles while frequently struggling with how to put them into effect in contexts. Knowing, for example, that I have moral responsibilities to another person does not tell me what to do vis-a-vis that person. Timeless principles stand, but they are vague. We all live in circumstances.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very nice point! We are all created b’tzelem elohim, but most of us are rarely if ever treated that way in this world.
      Very good point about principles -they can be difficult to put into action in different contexts. That, I believe, is why training in critical thinking, with empathy and compassion as the first principles, is so important. Without education in how to apply logic to any circumstance, one often falls back on relying on gurus/priests/preachers, etc, to know how to deal with different circumstances, rather than thinking them through as each situation requires . Another reason we need far more nuanced forms of education continuing through adulthood, no?

      Liked by 1 person

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