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Friday, Sivan 4, 5779 / June 7, 2019 (48th day of the Omer)


This Shabbat, in the Diaspora, we read Parshat Bamidbar, which begins the fourth Book of the Torah – Bamidbar (Numbers). Shabbat night, Sunday and Monday we celebrate the holiday of the Giving of the Torah – Shavuot.


Parshat Bamidbar begins with G-d commanding Moshe to count the Jewish men between the ages of 20 and 60. The total amount, excluding the tribe of Levi, was 603,550.


Q.   What is the connection between G-d commanding to count the people and the holiday of Shavuot?


A.   Our sages tell us that every Jewish soul is connected to and rooted in the Torah.  Although some may be more knowledgeable in Torah than others; some may be on a higher spiritual level than others, yet, as we approach the holiday of Shavuot, this Parsha teaches us that in essence we are all equal and every Jew has their personal equal share in the Torah. This point is emphasized by the importance of the census in which each person was counted equally.


The Ten Commandments are found twice in the Torah, the first time in Exodus and again in Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy, after the giving of the Ten Commandments, G-d orders Moshe to tell the people to, "Return now to your tents." 


Q. What is the lesson in that G-d told them to return to their tents?”


A. Rabbi Simcha Bunim, z"l, of Pshischa explains, “The real test of one’s commitment to Judaism and to Torah is how one conducts themselves at home - in their tents!"


This is the meaning of G-d's commandment," says Rabbi Bunim, "Now that I gave you the Commandments, let Me see how you will act in the privacy of your homes."


Continuity of Judaism cannot be left only to the Jewish schools and Shuls (synagogues).  The home is the most important Jewish institution we have. As parents we must remember the great responsibility we have been entrusted in being in charge of the greatest Jewish institution - home.


The foundation of our children's spiritual future and their continuity in carrying forth the golden chain of over 3,000 years of Jewish tradition is in ourhands.  The holiday of Shavuot reminds us G-d’s words, "Now return to your tents." Bring the Torah into your home.  Study it and practice it and be an example to your children.


Remember to attend and bring your children to synagogue on Sunday morning to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments!  




Montreal candle lighting times: Friday: 8:22 / Saturday night: 9:38 / Sunday: 9:39