Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Bamidbar

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

This week's parsha contains one of the two censuses in Sefer Bamidbar. In commenting on this week's numbers, R' Frand observed that the tribe of Levi was counted from the age of one month and up, but only numbered twenty two thousand, of which only eight thousand were above the age of thirty. In comparison with the other tribes, Shevet Levi was less than one half of the smallest tribe.

Rabbi Frand observed that if one knew that Levi was the only tribe which was not enslaved in Egypt, it might be thought that they would be among the larger tribes. However, the above numbers prove that this was not a factor in their population growth. Indeed, the other tribes fulfilled the statement in Shemos 1:12 - as much as they inflicted pain on the Jews, they would grow and spread out. The other tribes were zoche to much larger population growth because of their being part of the enslavement in Egypt.

R' Frand attributed the fallacy of assuming the numbers to the concept (translated into English) Man plans and G-d laughs.

R' Frand brought an additional proof to the above statement. He quoted R' Chatzkel Levenstien who noted that the tribe of Dan was the second largest tribe (only Yehuda was larger). Yet, Dan only had one son, who was deaf. Meanwhile, Benjamin had ten sons and he was only in the middle of the pack in population.

R' Frand observed - man can make his plans or analysis, but Hashem is the ultimate arbiter as to how they will come to fruition.

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