Yeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov

Parshat Bamidbar 2 Sivan 5773/May 11, 2013 / 46 Omer Vol.4 Num. 31

Toronto Torah
Parshat Bamidbar offers a similar set of terms to describe the Mishkan. Bamidbar 1:53 says, "The Levites will camp surrounding the mishkan ha'edut," the site in which the Tablets from Sinai are located, a house. On the other hand, Bamidbar 2:2 says, "The Children of Israel will camp at a distance, surrounding the ohel mo'ed," the place where one meets with G-d, the site of a relationship, a home. Whether the Mishkan is house of G-d or home with G-d, there is one constant: The Jewish people camp around it. The Levites surround the Mishkan as protectors, soldiers ensuring that its sanctity will not be violated. The rest of the nation orients itself around the Mishkan as suitors seeking their


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House and Home
In a popular children's book, A House is a House for Me, author Mary Ann Hoberman depicts the locations in which plants, people and animals live. No particular bond exists between creature and site; these are simply habitats. In contrast, Professor Rosemary George (University of California) describes the concept of Home in The Politics of Home. She writes of the emotional relationship with home, "Its importance lies in the fact that it is not equally available to all. Home is the desired place that is fought for and established as the exclusive domain of a few." Hoberman's house and Professor George's home occupy the same space, but Hoberman describes an entity, while Professor George describes a relationship.

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
beloved, or flowers turning toward the light radiating from within. With the presentaton of the Torah at Sinai this week, we might contemplate the same dual approach to Torah. Torah is a house, the documentary repository of Judaism. Torah is also a home, the place in which we study Judaism and embrace it. We play the roles of both the Levites and the nation, though; we protect Torah by honouring it and passing it to the next generation faithfully, and we draw near to Torah by studying it ourselves. This week, as we accept the Torah anew, let us embrace both roles, guarding our house and living in our home.

Our Haftorah: Hosheia 2:1-22
Who is the prophet of our haftorah? Hosheia ben Be'eri directed his messages primarily to the northern "Yisrael" kingdom, which was led by King Yeravam ben Yoash. The Talmud (Bava Batra 15a) attributes authorship of the book to the Great Assembly at the start of the second Beit haMikdash. Hosheia's prophecies depict his generation as corrupt; the people do not fear G-d or their king. (Hosheia 10:13) They rebel against G-d (3:1), abuse other people (4:1-2) and are immersed in drunkenness and immorality (4). The central image of Hosheia's prophecy is a comparison of the relationship between G-d and the nation of Israel with the relationship between a husband and his adulterous spouse. What is the message of our haftorah? While we read the haftorah, we feel as two voices are speaking to us. The most prominent voice seems to be threatening the Jewish nation – " Behold I will close off your way with thorns"(2:9), "No man shall save her from My hand" (2:12), "I will terminate all of her rejoicing, her festivals, her new moons, and her Sabbaths " (2:13). But in the background, a second voice presents itself, saying that this terrible vengeance will eventually be for the good – "I will draw her and lead her into the desert, and I will speak comfortingly to her heart… and she shall dwell there as in the days of her youth, and as the

Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
day of her ascent from the land of Egypt." (2:16-17) It seems that this duality stands as the main connection between our haftorah, Parshat Bamidbar and Chumash Bamidbar. Israel's voyage through the desert, described in this chumash, can be seen as a series of terrible sins and their punishments. However, a careful reading will see the background voice, telling of a nation following its G-d in an unsown land, in a journey rewarded with the response, "I will betroth you to Me forever, and I will betroth you to Me with righteousness and justice and lovingkindness and mercy. And I will betroth you to Me with faith, and you shall know the Lord." (2:21-22)

Highlights for May 11-13 / 2-4 Sivan [For Shavuot, See the Reverse Side]
Shabbat, May 11 7:45 AM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Parshah, Or Chaim 10:20 AM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Parshah, Clanton Park Derashah R’ Mordechai Torczyner, BAYT 6:55 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Daf Yomi, BAYT 7:25 PM Hillel Horovitz, Receiving Torah in the Desert, Bnai Torah, marking the yahrtzeit of Chaim Manoach ben Mordechai haLevi, Hillel’s father 7:35 PM Adam Frieberg, Pirkei Avot, Shaarei Tefillah After minchah R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Shavuot, BAYT Sunday, May 12 7:15 AM R’ Ezra Goldschmiedt, Daf Yomi, BAYT 9:15 AM Hillel Horovitz, Shavuot, Zichron Yisroel, Hebrew 6:30 PM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Contemporary Halachah in Israel, Hebrew, 4 Tillingham Keep, mixed 40 min. pre-minchah R’ Baruch Weintraub, Contemporary Halachah in Israel, Hebrew, Clanton Park, men Monday, May 13 8 PM Monday Beit Midrash: Bnai Torah, Clanton Park 8 PM Hillel Horovitz, Melachim II:5-8, Bnai Torah 9 PM Hillel Horovitz, Rav Kook’s Ein Ayah, Bnai Torah

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