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Bamidbar 5768

Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20 )

by Kalman Packouz

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GOOD MORNING! I thought that you might enjoy these observations about the Jewish people by some noted non-Jews.

___"Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world."

-- Winston Churchill


___"The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illumined with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring, and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions."

-- Leo Tolstoy


___"It was in vain that we locked them up for several hundred years behind the walls of the Ghetto. No sooner were their prison gates unbarred than they easily caught up with us, even on those paths which we opened up without their aid."

-- A. A. Leroy Beaulieu, French publicist, 1842


___"The Jew gave us the Outside and the Inside - our outlook and our inner life. We can hardly get up in the morning or cross the street without being Jewish. We dream Jewish dreams and hope Jewish hopes. Most of our best words, in fact - new, adventure, surprise, unique, individual, person, vocation, time, history, future, freedom, progress, spirit, faith, hope, justice - are the gifts of the Jews."

-- Thomas Cahill, Irish Author


___ "One of the gifts of the Jewish culture to Christianity is that it has taught Christians to think like Jews, and any modern man who has not learned to think as though he were a Jew can hardly be said to have learned to think at all."

--William Rees-Mogg, former Editor-in-Chief for The Times of London and a member of the House of Lords


___"It is certain that in certain parts of the world we can see a peculiar people, separated from the other peoples of the world and this is called the Jewish people.... This people is not only of remarkable antiquity but has also lasted for a singular long time ... For whereas the people of Greece and Italy, of Sparta, Athens and Rome and others who came so much later have perished so long ago, these still exist, despite the efforts of so many powerful kings who have tried a hundred times to wipe them out, as their historians testify, and as can easily be judged by the natural order of things over such a long spell of years. They have always been preserved, however, and their preservation was foretold... My encounter with this people amazes me..."

-- Blaise Pascal, French Mathematician


___ "The Jewish vision became the prototype for many similar grand designs for humanity, both divine and man made The Jews, therefore, stand at the center of the perennial attempt to give human life the dignity of a purpose."

Paul Johnson, American Historian

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Torah Portion of the Week

___In the second year of travel in the desert, Moshe and Aharon were commanded by the Almighty to count all male Israelites between 20 and 60. There were 603,550 available for military service. The tribe of Levi was exempt because of their special duties as religious leaders. (It is probably from here that countries give divinity deferments to clergy and divinity students.)

___The twelve tribes were directed regarding the formation (three tribes were on each side of the Portable Sanctuary) in which they were to camp and travel.

___The 22,300 Levites were commanded in the Sanctuary service. The family of Gershon was to transport the coverings of the Sanctuary. The family of Kehos carried the Ark, Table, Menorah and Altars. The family of Merari transported the boards, pillars, bolts and sockets.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

___The Torah states:

"And with you shall be one man from each tribe, each man should be the head of his family." (Numbers 1:4).

___What lesson about life is the Torah conveying with this verse?

___A simple and boorish person who came from a distinguished lineage was arguing with a wise scholar who came from a non-distinguished family. The coarse ignoramus boasted about his illustrious ancestors. "I am a scion of a great people. Your ancestors are nothing compared to mine," he arrogantly boasted. The scholar retorted, "True, you come from a long line of great people. Unfortunately, the line ends with you. My family tree begins with me."

___Lineage has been compared to a carrot - often times the best part is in the ground. In truth, lineage is like the number "zero." If you make something of yourself, you place a "one" before the zero. If you are a "zero" then all you have are two zeroes. Our lesson: You should live your life so that your descendants will be proud to consider you their ancestor!

(or go to

Jerusalem 6:58
Guatemala 6:07 - Hong Kong 6:43 - Honolulu 6:50
J'Burg 5:05 - London 8:47 - Los Angeles 7:40
Melbourne 4:52 - Mexico City 7:51 - Miami 7:50

New York 8:02 - Singapore 6:49 - Toronto 8:33


What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable
rather than how valuable we are -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

In Loving Memory of
My Father
Avraham ben Natan
and my sister
Sarah Bailah bas Avraham
by Nathan Zemel


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