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Ordering Love

The Torah is the means of Hashem messaging us. The Jewish people are taught lesson upon lesson through their various challenges in the Desert. One message comes up time and again . . . Hashem's ultimate love for His people. 

The fourth book of the Torah describes the various journeys and trials the Jewish people encountered during the forty years in the Sinai desert. The opening "census", however, is chronologically out of order. Nine chapters later we will read that the Jewish people brought the Passover offering in the prior month. If so, why is the census mentioned before the Passover offering? 

Our sages teach us that the Passover offering was only brought one time in the desert and not again until we entered the land of Israel (the original plan before the Sin of the Spies). Hashem chose to wait to address this subject which contained negativity about His people and instead started with the "census" to express the belovedness He has for His people. (Note: see Rashi on this verse and how his comment comes before verse 2 containing the actual census. In addition, Rashi did not comment on any of the prior censuses.)  

"Hashem spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first (day) of the second month, in the second year after their exodus from the land of Egypt, saying . . ." Numbers 1:1

* Concepts based on the writings of Rabbi Immanuel Bernstein,


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