Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition



What’s so oo-la-la?




OhrSavoy Shul represented by Rabbi Dr David Nossel

 Verse 1 says: “Hashem spoke to Moshe in the Sinai desert in the Tent of Meeting in the 1st [day] of the second month of their departure from the land of Egypt saying.” Nu, I wonder, where’s there a message in that?

And if I look to Rashi: “Amidst their endearment before Him He counts them every hour. When they departed Egypt He counted them; and when they fell by the [golden] calf He counted them to ascertain the count of those who remained; when He came to rest His Divine Presence on them He counted them. On the 1st of Nissan the Tabernacle was erected and on the 1st of Iyar He counted them.” Where is the “wow” in that?

Why does Rashi say that Hashem counts us “every hour”? And what’s so oo-la-la about being counted anyway?

Let’s say there was a couple who were blessed with lots of kids. Twelve is a nice Jewish example. If Jacob wanted to show his love for his children, would he choose to do so by counting them every hour?

“Hi kids. I want you to know that I adore you. So here goes: 1, 2, 3, 4… 12! And come back in an hour to be counted again!”

Is this really a display of affection? Will the 12 children really feel endeared by it? It seems more like a tool for a tour guide to see if all the members of the tour group are present before the bus can depart, than an endorsement of endearment. Something just doesn’t seem to add up here.

But a careful reading of Rashi will dispel all of our disappointments. Rashi said: “Due to their endearment before Him He counts them every hour.”

Rashi, I believe, is NOT saying that Hashem counts the people due to His endearment for them. Oh no. Instead, Rashi is referring to their endearment for Him! “Due to their endearment before Him He counts them every hour.”  

If the counting is for our benefit, then there’s nothing really oo-la-la about that at all: we lose our own identity and are reduced to a mere number. But if the counting is for His benefit, and we are not focused on ourselves at all, then our count is a display of the magnitude of our allegiance and the uniformity of our devotion.

Hashem counts us when He receives our message to Him that “You can count ON us”. You can count ON us to leave behind Egypt and all its mistaken ways; You can count ON us not to make the mistake of worshipping a calf; You can count ON us to be like Your Sanctuary.

And when we tell Him this every hour, what can be more oo-la-la than that?


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *