A reading for Shabbat B’midbar – the Sabbath of the reading of the first section of the Book of Numbers:
In the desert simmered a small miracle,
a bush that burned and was not consumed.
The prophet was moved by awe,
and removed sandals going barefoot.
When the noises of our minds settle,
and we notice the wonders of the world,
when our eyes clear so that we can see,
and focus on the sparks in all creation,
then our hearts may expand in thanks,
and our breath speak words of praise.
Torah-Inspired, Reflection of The Day:
Today we look at B’midbar, Numbers 1:1 – 4:20 – the opening of the Book of Numbers, the book we call B’midbar, “In the wilderness”, in Hebrew. The census of the Israelites for the sake of taking account of their military capacity takes place in these opening chapters.
One of the key verses to this reading comes at the very beginning:
Num. 1:3 …you are to count them (for battle) according to their forces, you and Aaron.
Moses and Aaron must encounter each of the men they count.
We can only enter into the terrible prospect of war when we encounter the people that may die as unique individuals. For that matter, we should only enter war when we attempt to encounter the people we oppose as unique individuals as well.