In this parasha, the Torah speaks about dividing the Land of Israel into tribal portions. First G‑d tells Moses that the Land should be divided according to the census, but then G‑d continues, directing that lots be drawn for each tribe. This seemingly "random" lottery perfectly coincided with the systematic dividing of the Land according to tribe size.

...this seemingly "random" lottery perfectly coincided with...tribe size.

There were two aspects to the division. One according to the census - dividing the Land in an equitable way according to the tribes' populations. The second way of dividing the Land was according to a lottery - essentially a divine decree verifying this division, so that the tribes would not dispute the division.

Both aspects - the rational and the supra-rational - come together in this week's Torah portion, teaching us that our own efforts have to reflect this unity. To survive Jewishly and successfully face the world with all of its challenges, we have to merge together the natural and logical with the supernatural and divine.

...we have to work according to the rules of reality...

How is this done? On the one hand, we have to work according to the rules of reality - not to rely on miracles, using our abilities to the max; we must find logical solutions to even difficult problems, and work systematically to deal with those issues. Nevertheless, even as we do this, through our actions we also have to reveal that nature itself is directed by G‑d. We have to work on the premise that if we invest ourselves to the full extent of our ability, G‑d will help us arrive at the necessary goal, even if it presently seems out of reach. Chasidut teaches, "Nature itself is in reality higher than nature." This is further illustrated by another saying, "Lead a supernatural life, and G‑d will provide the miracles".

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul

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