Parshas BaMidbar BaMidbar
Numbers 1:1 - 4:20

The Entire Congregation Missing G-d's Good Desire For Us ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated by the family of Akiva G. Belk in the loving memory of Mrs. Ethel Channah Sakash Belk, may she rest in peace..

Within the beginning words of our parsha is a phrase found twenty-four times within the Torah and in a second form three more times. It is Cawl Ah Das, meaning "all witnesses" but normally translated into English as "the entire congregation." The first occurrence in Torah is Exodus 12:3 and the occurrence in reference here is Numbers 1:2.

{From Right to Left}

Cawl Ah Das
524 = Sav = 400 + Dalet = 4 + Ayin = 70 + Lamed = 30 + Chof = 20

The two phrases are interchangeable in the sense that the entire congregation of B'nei Yisroel are each witness to every command of Hashem in reference. So the text could read, "Take a head count of every witness of B'nei Yisroel" or, "Take a head count of the entire congregation / assembly of B'nei Yisroel." However in English one does not normally think of or refer to a congregation in the same sense as witness. Yet in Hebrew that is the intent.

So when Hashem spoke to Moshe regarding this, we on the one hand understand the meaning to be "congregation" but on the other hand should also understand that each member of the congregation was a witness to the proceedings that were about to transpire. Now the counting was intended for the good of B'nei Yisroel. Hashem knew the exact count. The counting was not for His benefit. The counting was for the benefit of the witnesses. It was to establish the land right in Eretz Canaan for each male over the age of twenty prior to battle upon entering the land. In addition to Moshe, Aharon and the tribal leader of each tribe, every man above the age of twenty was a witness to the proceedings granting each of them a portion of the Eretz Canaan when conquered. This was Hashem's intent.

Unfortunately Hashem's good intent would be insulted, slandered.

The Story Of The Forsaken Gifts
Years ago I was present when two little boys presented their grandfather with gifts for the holidays; a pair of leather gloves, a pair of socks and a tie, as I remember it. They saved house chore money for an entire year and used it along with the assistance from their parents to get some holiday gifts for their immediate loved ones.

The grandfather was a grump. Upon seeing their acts of kindness, cute little packages all wrapped up, he openly complained to them and to the parents that the boys should not have taken the time to buy him anything. These were little boys about the age of nine and four. They were hurt. The parents were angry at his uncaring reaction. He opened their gifts as he continued his barrage of complaints. It was sad to be a witness to the hostility towards such acts of kindness. After opening them and seeing the gifts these little children had sacrificed to help buy out of love for their grandfather, he said, "They're nice but I don't need them," as he set them down. Later when he left he refused to accept the gifts.

This story, as sad as it is, somewhat depicts what is about to happen in several weeks with B'nei Yisroel and Eretz Canaan. Unfortunately we slander Hashem's kind and thoughtful gift to us in favor of the slave camps of Mitzriam, G-d forbid!

According to our sages, Dovid HaMeleck {the writer of much of the Tehillim} found eleven Tehillim {Psalms} in their present form composed by Moshe Rabbeinu. Knowing Tehillim Ninety to be "The Prayer of Moshe," he included it in the Book of Psalms. It speaks in regards to the frailty of men and the shortness of their lives. Moshe in this Tehillim asks Hashem's compassion and His favor regardless of our wrongdoings.

This Tehillim is a reflection of such times like when B'nei Yisroel failed to trust in Hashem at the report of the spies in Parshas Shlach, when "we" {B'nei Yisroel} rejected our Creator's wonderful gift, G-d forbid!

According to the Midrash we are informed that "The women of the generation of the wilderness {that} they did not participate in the people's sins, but were always loyal to Hashem and to Moshe." Many Jewish wives like Moshe entreat Hashem; just after lighting the Shabbos candles they say Tehillim 90 :17. The first five words are:

Vee Hee Noh Ahm Ah - Doh - Naw Eh - Loh - Hay - Noo Aw Lay Noo, meaning "May the pleasantness of my Master our G-d be upon us."

{from Right to Left}

Vee Hee Noh Ahm
191 = Mem = 40 + Ayin = 70 + Nun = 50 + Yod = 10 + Hey = 5 + Yud = 10 + Vav = 6

Ah - Doh - Naw
65 = Yud = 10 + Nun = 50 + Dalet = 4 + Aleph = 1

Eh - Loh - Hay - Noo
102 = Vav = 6 + Nun = 50 + Yud = 10 + Hey = 5 + Lamed = 30 + Aleph = 1

Aw Lay Noo
166 = Vav = 6 + Nun = 50 + Yud = 10 + Lamed = 30 + Ayin = 70

524 = 191 + 65 + 102 + 166

This has always been Hashem's intention for B'nei Yisroel. We are witnesses to His intentions and to our failings. Our wives in spite of our failings like Moshe Rabbeinu plead to Hashem to bless us with His pleasantness as they restore the light of the world on Erev Shabbos.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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