Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 19: "Kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe va'yif'k'deim b'midbar Sinoi" - Just as Hashem commanded to Moshe the complete Torah, which contains 600,000 letters, so too, the counting of the bnei Yisroel brought a population count of 600,000 people, as each of the bnei Yisroel corresponds to a letter of the Torah. (Kedushas Levi)

Ch. 1, v. 49: "Ach es ma'tei Levi lo sifkode .. b'soch bnei Yisroel" - Rashi (M.R. 3:7) explains that the Levites were not to be counted along with the general populace because they were not included in the edict of death upon all who were above the age of 20 years. This is because not even one among them sinned with the golden calf. This deserves clarification. The Levites did not sin by the golden calf, and the edict of death was for the sin of the spies. The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos states that one sin draws in its wake another sin. Because the Levites did not sin with the golden calf they were spared sinning along with the spies. (The Holy Admor of Satmar)

Ch. 2, v. 17: "Macha'nei haLviim b'soch hamachanos" - Although the Levites were given a privileged area in which to reide, surrounding the Mishkon, nevertheless, this did not bring them to haughtiness. They behaved as if they were totally integrated within all the other tribes' encampments, "b'soch hamachanos." (Rabbi Avrohom Dov of Avrutsh in Bas Ayin)

Ch. 2, v. 17: "Kaasher yachanu kein yiso'u" - Corresponding to the amount that they lowered themselves, they correspondingly were elevated. (Rabbi Meir of Apt)

Alternatively, just as they behaved when they were at rest at home, so too, they behaved when they traveled and were on vacation. They did not lower their standards. (Shomati)

Ch. 2, v. 33: "V'haLviim lo hospokdu b'soch bnei Yisroel" - And the Levites, who were elevated people, did not lose out in any manner, by being within the general populace of the bnei Yisroel, and positively influencing them. (Rabbi Moshe Yoseif of Zalozhitz in Bris Avrom)

Ch. 3, v. 1: "V'eileh toldos Aharon u'Moshe" - The next verse enumerates the children of Aharon only. This teaches us that when one teaches his friend's children Torah, it is as if they are his own children (Rashi, gemara Sanhedrin 19b). Why are only the sons of Aharon mentioned? Moshe taught all the bnei Yisroel Torah. The rest of the bnei Yisroel later fell from their exalted level through the sin of the golden calf, but the children of Aharon remained righteous. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 3, v. 13: "B'yom hakosi chol b'chor b'eretz Mitzrayim hikdashti li chol b'chor b'Yisroel" - Hashem exposed a mighty spiritual light upon all firstborns. The degenerate lowly Egyptian firstborns died from this extreme exposure. The bnei Yisroel were also in danger of dying from this powerful spiritual surge. Hashem therefore infused the firstborn bnei Yisroel with a large dose of sanctity, so that they could withstand the great spiritual light. This sanctity brought them closer to Hashem and that is why "li hu." (The Holy Admor of Slonim in N'sivos Sholo-m)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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