There are three types of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t.

This week’s Parshah begins the book of Bamidbar, often referred to in English as the Book of Numbers. The name “Numbers” is not a literal translation of Bamidbar, which means “in the desert.” Nonetheless, we find the name Numbers used in Hebrew also—Chumash Hapekudim” (pekudim means “enumerations”). The choice of this alternative name for the whole book reflects the importance of the census which takes place in this week’s Parshah, when the Children of Israel are counted.

A census expresses a certain dichotomy. It reminds us of the significance of each individual. By counting up the number of people, each person contributes to the total sum. On the other hand, a census is a “head-count.” The greatest of the great, and the smallest of the small, all count as one person, no more, no less.

Sometimes it is hard to find the medium between self-worth and humility. It is worth noting these two concepts: Yes, each individual is important, each person counts. Nobody’s contribution is insignificant. No person should ever feel worthless; each of us has a part to play in the greater scheme of things, and each of us counts. On the other hand, everybody is essentially equal, we are all created in the image of G‑d, and we need to remember this when we find ourselves looking down on others, or elevating ourselves through delusions of grandeur.

Nonetheless, remember, each of us counts! Each of us can make a difference!