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Human Being, The

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When the Torah tells us who lived near whom, it’s telling us about the power of proximal influence. There’s the influence of a rebel rouser and of the scholar...
In this process of counting there is an interesting feature: G-d tells Moses to count the people as individuals and also by their families, within their tribes...
Once there was a small town that had exactly ten men over the age of bar mitzvah. One day, a new Jewish family moved in to town. Great joy and excitement; now they would have eleven men. But as soon as they had one extra, they could never manage a minyan!
I was about to board the train, a middle-aged man exited the train and immediately approached me. “I’m a Jew,” he said.
However large the group you lead, you must always communicate the value you place on everyone.
In the eyes of G-d, counting Jews is far more than keeping score; it is, rather, His way of telling each and every one of His children: “You matter to Me. You’re not just a number. You’re on My speed-dial.”
Who defied Pharaoh's decree and risked their lives to carry, give birth to and nurse these children? Now that the children are to be counted, the mothers are no longer noteworthy?
To us on earth, looking with the unaided eye and perhaps not thinking too much about the matter, the stars seem tiny and insignificant. Yet each is a powerful and unique force.
"Did you know," Ben said, "that if this would be a non kosher egg, like an owl's egg, and it would fall into a pot of food, then the whole pot-full of food would become non-kosher?"
Two censuses, taken at two times which could not be more dissimilar. But a singular message—and a message with a singular theme—emerges . . .
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