Parshas Bamidbar:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il
HomePage: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~hm16/

This Dvar Torah was prepared in the merit and memory of my grandfather: Rav Yitzchak Zev Ben Yisroel Mordechai HaKohen Solomon

Parshas Bamidbar:

Pasuk (2:2):

"The Bnei Yisroel shall encamp, each man by his flag..."

The Midrash teaches us that the Bnei Yisroel's physical encampment, here on earth, was the counterpart of the Heavenly Court, where Hashem's Throne is surrounded by 4 companies of angels, like the four formations that were around the Tabernacle. (Midrash Rabbah 2:10)

If we take a closer look at this Parsha, we will see that this special encampment by tribes, is only mentioned in the second year of the Bnei Yisroel's leaving of Egypt.

If this is so, then why did they have to wait so long to set up their encampment according to their flags?

Why didn't they travel and encamp according to their flags from the beginning? Why did they previously go as one large group, and only now they were divided by their tribes & flags?

At first, when one looks at the idea behind the flags, one may think that this encampment would have a separating affect, for each tribe's flag brought out the special qualities found in each tribe.

By each tribe having its own flag, it is a sign to all, "Look at why I am special", as if to say, "I am better than you!"

Rav Yakov Kaminetsky explains, that as long as the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was not yet built, the Torah did not mention the whole concept of the flags, because of the fear that it would bring separation and arguments.

Now, after the Mishkan was built, on the 1st day of Nissan, in the second year of their leaving of Egypt, this worry no longer existed.

For now, since every one was joined together with one central service, and each one is encamping around it, this is not separation, and does not bring out the differences.

This is similar to ones body, for we have many limbs attached to our body, yet each one is attached and is part of our body.

They are not separated, rather each one has its special job to do, and this itself is important. Each limb has a special job, in the general body.

Rav Henoch Leibowitz says, a similar idea can be found in the Census of the Bnei Yisroel.

Instead of each head of the family giving Moshe the "head count" of his family, Moshe counted each individual.

For Hashem chose this way to teach us that each person is unique and the value that each person has, in the group is unique.

For even when one is being counted, he is not a mere number, rather he is a human being created in the "image" of Hashem.

Every resident of our community, every member of our family, every co-worker, should be treated with the same care and respect that we ourselves expect from others.

Sometimes by just stopping to spend a few minutes with another person, even if we just tell them, "I hope you have a pleasant day"; can do a great deal to raise that person's spirits and carry him through the hard day ahead of him.

If we would keep in mind the great love that Hashem has for each one of us, this may help us to feel the desire to emulate Hashem.

Halacha Bytes:


Yerushalayim - in Halacha:


A few aspects about Yerushalayim.

On the 28th of Iyar 5727, Yerushalayim was recaptured and we were then able to freely go to the Kotel and other holy places.

During the 6 day war, the whole Jewish Nation was worried about the Jews in Eretz Yisroel.

They were saved in such a short time from almost destruction. People were awed by the miracles, yet most of this just lasted a short time. A lot of the miracles are pretty much forgotten by now. If we would have used this inspiration correctly, many would have returned to the source, we may have been able to reach the needed level for redemption.

I am not going discuss in this Dvar Torah the festival which some have accepted, called "Yom Yerushalayim". There are various opinions about saying Halel, dancing by the Kotel, and etc...

Yerushalayim has a special holiness for the Shechina rests (Kvayachol) in Yerushalayim.

Just like the Shechina is eternal, so is the holiness of Yerushalayim, even though nowadays there is no Beis Hamikdash (Temple) in Yerushalayim.

Yerushalayim also has special considerations in Halacha.

Going up to Yerushalayim during the Festivals:


Is there a Mitzvah nowadays to go up to Yerushalayim on the festival?

The Rambam says that this particular Mitzvah applies when we bring Korbanos (sacrifices, offerings), thus nowadays this Mitzvah doesn't apply.

There is another reason to go up to Yerushalayim, but not necessarily for Halacha requirement, for there is no Mitzvah nowadays.

There may be no obligation, yet one still should try to go up to Yerushalayim, especially on the festival, even though there is no Beis Ha Mikdash, for the Shechina has never left the area of the Beis Hamikdash, the Kotel. The holiness of Yerushalayim is always there, even when the Beis Hamikdash is destroyed.

Does one have to show signs of mourning, when he sees the Kotel:


Chaz"al set laws of mourning, that anyone who sees the "Old City of Yerushalayim" (Yerushalayim from the days of the Temple), in the hands of the nations or in destruction, is to say "Tzion Midbar Haysa, Yerushalayim Shomeimah", and one is to make a rip in his clothes (Keria) as a sign of mourning.

One is to do this only once in a month's time of not seeing the place of destruction. The same applies when one sees places like the Kotel(Western Wall).

There are many who rely on the Psak of the "Minchas Shlomo", that people who live in Eretz Yisroel, and thus have the ability to go to Yerushalayim easily, upon their seeing of Yerushalayim in destruction and the place of the Beis Hamikdash in destruction or in the hands of Goyim, are not required to do this action of mourning. Yet tourists would still be required to.

It is thus best to visit the Kotel for his first time, on Chol Ha Moed or Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah, Purim, even on Erev Shabbos or Erev Chag. Then he is not obligated to do the ripping of his garment. The best way in such a case, is to give his shirt to another as a binding sale, before he sees the place of the Beis Hamikdash, and then he will be Patur.

Can one force his family to make Aliyah?


There is a Mishna in Maseches Kesuvos (110:b) that states that " Any person can force his/her spouse to move to Eretz Yisroel.

Any person can force his/her spouse, even if they have little children, to move to Yerushalayim, from another city in Israel" (based on Rashi)

Why is this?

Why can one spouse insist that the other spouse move to Eretz Yisroel or Yerushalayim?

It must be that living in Eretz Yisroel is just so important.

We know that Chazal say that: "He who lives in Eretz Yisroel it is as if he has a G-d, while one who lives in Chutz L'aretz(outside Eretz Yisroel) it is as if he doesn't have a G-d." Also, "one who lives in Eretz Yisroel it is like one living without sin.

We can therefore understand why one can insist that on the other to make Aliyah.

One may ask, living in Eretz Yisroel is not the most important Mitzvah, isn't learning Torah more special, for we know, "Talmud Torah K' Neged Kulam"? (learning Torah is equal to the other Mitzvos). So why can the husband insist on living in Eretz Yisroel, and even more so in Yerushalayim?

So Rav Tuchachinski, in his Sefer "Ir HaKodesh V'Hamikdash" gives an explanation to this Halacha, that the "Shulchan Aruch" brings down that when one gets married, ones wife has to go to the husband's city, for when one gets married, it is a sort of condition in the marriage that the wife will move to the husband's city. It is like a normal "Tnai" (condition) in the marriage.

The same is with Eretz Yisroel, it's Jew's country and Yerushalayim is everyone's home town. Thus when they married this was a condition in the marriage, even if it wasn't stated before the marriage.

One may ask, normally the wife can not force her husband to move to her hometown, so why is she allowed to here?

When it is both of their home town, there are those who say she can force her husband to move. (Yet others disagree on this and say even if they both live in the same town, she can't force her husband.)

Yerushalayim is our home town for thousands of years thus each spouse can force the other, because "Al Mnas Kayn Nasa".

The Rav explains further with a Tosfos which states that all this doesn't apply nowadays, since the way to Eretz Yisroel is dangerous. Others add that it is hard to live there thus the husband can't force the wife.

Yet this was in their time when travel was dangerous, yet now it does not apply and each spouse can force the other, for Yerushalayim is each ones home town.

The "Sefer Eretz Ha-Tzvi" explains that the reason one can force his wife to move to Yerushalayim is part of the Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisroel. (There are differences in opinion what type of Mitzvah this is.)

Since Yerushalayim has a greater level of holiness, there is preference in living in Yerushalayim over other places in Eretz Yisroel.

He adds that if one has little children and he presently lives in Chutz L'aretz, since the move to Eretz Yisroel may be very hard on the children, he can't force his family to move.

When we are dealing with moving in Eretz Yisroel, to Yerushalayim, it is much less of a change thus one can force the move, and we are not worried that his children may leave the "correct path".

There are those who argue and state that one can even force ones family to make Aliyah, even when one has young children.

Yerushalayim - the light of the world:


The great merits of Yerushalayim exist only when the lower Yerushalayim is attached to the Yerushalayim above.

If we unattach this connection, we lose it's great merits.

May we see the rebuilding of Yerushalayim in our days, both spiritually and physically.

(Adapted from Rav Frand, Rav Sclesinger, Sefer Eretz Ha Tzvi, Sefer Yemos Olam, Rav Ginsberg...)


Please note I did not do a in-depth look at these Halachos, when one wants to act according to one of these Halacha's, he must first ask a Reliable Local Orthodox Rabbi. This information is here only to try and make you more aware of different Halachic details, and it is not here in anyway to give a Psak(final Halacha).