Posted by: mosesfromsinai | May 23, 2011

BaMidbar – In the Desert

This week’s Torah reading, BaMidbar, begins the 4th book in the Torah.  The story of the 40 years spent wandering in the desert.

Questions are asked as to why the Torah was also given in the desert, why not in the Land of Israel?  Perhaps one answer can be that in order to survive in a desert, a place that is apparently barren with all types of natural obstacles, we need to be absorbed with Torah.

Moshe our leader, was able to live 40 days and nights on Mt. Sinai without physical food or water – because he was being ‘fed’ (sustained) with the living words of Torah.

In the Shema Yisroel we read “Videebarta Bum”, (you should speak in them).  Our sages tell us that the word “Bum”, which are made of the two Hebrew letters, Beit and Mem, stand for the Written and Oral Law.  A  Jew should be involved in speaking about the Written and Oral teachings of the Torah.  The Beit is the first letter of the Hebrew word Breisheet, (In the Beginning – which the Written Torah begins with) and Mem is the first letter the Mishnah (Oral Torah) begins with.  “Miai-mati” (from when does a person recite the evening Shema?)

If we look closely at the word for “in the desert’, BaMidbar, we will truly see the clue for surviving in a desert and the key to Jewish survival in general.  The first two Hebrew letters are Beit and Mem in the word, BaMidbar.  This leaves us with the remaining three Hebrew letters, Dalut, Beit and Reish which spell Debear – speak.  If you wish to survive in a desert then Debear – speak Bum – the Written and Oral Torah.


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