In the portion of Bamidbar, the Jewish people are counted and organized. Every head of household was counted. Everyone had their place under the banner of their tribe, surrounding the Mishkan, the Tabernacle.

These countings are so significant that our sages named this book Chumash HaPekudim, the “Book of Numbers.”

This portion is always read right before Shavuot, the day G‑d gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai.

What is the significance of this counting? What is the connection between this counting and Shavuot?

In the innermost chamber of the Mishkan stood the aron, the ark. In the aron were the tablets bearing the Ten Commandments, which we received from G‑d on Shavuot.

The tribe of Levi camped around the Mishkan; around them camped the remaining 12 tribes.

Being counted and organized around the Mishkan teaches that each of us has a specific part—a unique mission—that we are being counted on to do in the service of G‑d. That is symbolized by the Mishkan.

Being counted also unites us as one, with one grand purpose.

For this reason, every one of our souls had to be at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. Each of you is absolutely necessary. Each of you has a unique part of the Torah that was given specifically to you and you alone. When you do your mitzvah, all of us are affected by it—just like each unit counted affects the sum total.

When we camped at Mount Sinai, we were “as one person with one heart”—united as a people, united in purpose.

I love having visitors. Thank G‑d, I’m blessed with many. Bikur cholim, visiting the sick, is a great mitzvah.

Recently, I was visited by a couple, longtime friends of mine. After being with them for a few minutes, I could sense that there was a special quality to their visit. You could tell that this is their special mitzvah. Perhaps when their souls stood at Mount Sinai, this was given to them as one of their unique missions.

By each of us championing our unique missions, we will surely merit to stand once again together “as one person with one heart” this Shavuot, with the coming of Moshiach.