Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:1-12:16
And YaHuWaH spoke to Mosheh, saying,“Speak to Aharon, and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, let the seven lamps give light in front of the lamp- stand.’ ”- Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:1
This Torah Portion is called בהעלותך Beha’a lot’cha meaning when you lift up or ascend. It was Aharon’s offering as a leader of his people to serve as the one who would lift up the Menorah and to light the esh tamid or eternal flame.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:4 And this is the work of the lampstand:beaten work of gold, from its base to its blossoms it is beaten work. According to the pattern which YaHuWaH had shown Mushah, so he made the lampstand.
Mosheh gathers all the children of Yisrael (Israel) to the front of the Mishkan where the tribe of Lewi is inducted into the service as aides to the Kohanim (priests).
The Lewites were immersed in a mikwah which is a large pool of water. Then they shave off all their hair, are sprinkled with the ashes of the Red Heifer, and bring the required offerings to YaHuWaH. The people lay their hands upon the Lewites and Aharon the Kohen HaGadol lifts each of them up as an “uplifting before YaHuWaH”. This is done to simulate the idea of sacrifice, for before an animal is slain for sin the one bringing the animal must place their hand upon the animal’s head. When the animal is sacrificed it is then lifted up before YaHuWaH. This is because the Lewites were given as a gift to Aharon and his sons to help do the service for the Mishkan (dwelling place). When the Lewite is twenty five he may begin his service and at the age of fifty he retires but still appears with his brothers.
Passover part two
Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:1And YaHuWaH spoke to Mushah in theWilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Mitsrayim, saying,2“Now, let the children of Yisrael perform the Passover at its appointed time. 3“On the fourteenth day of this month,between the evenings, perform it at its appointed time. According to all its laws and right-rulings you perform it.”
But what if all were not able to eat of the Pesach due to matters of uncleanliness?
Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:6 But there were men who were defiled 1 for a being of a man, so that they were not able to perform the Passover on that day. So they came before Mosheh and Aharon that day,7and those men said to him, “We are defiled 1 for the being of a man. Why are we withheld from bringing near the offering of YaHuWaH at its appointed time among the children of Yisrael?”
At this time YaHuWaH gives provision for them to keep Passover a month late:
Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:9 And YaHuWaH spoke to Mushah, saying, 10“Speak to the children of Yashar’al, saying, ‘When any male of you or your generations is unclean 1 for a being, or is far away on a journey, he shall still perform the Passover of YaHuWaH. 11 ‘On the fourteenth day of the secondmonth, between the evenings, they perform it – with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they eat it.12 ‘They do not leave of it until morning, and they do not break a bone of it. According to all the laws of the Passover they perform it.13 ‘But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and has failed to perform the Passover, that same being shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of YaHuWaH at its appointed time – that man bears his sin.
This provision is called Pesach Sheni meaning the second Passover
Bamidbar (Numbers) 9: 15 And on the day that the Dwelling Place was raised up, the cloud covered the Dwelling Place, the Tent of the Witness. From evening until morning it was above the Dwelling Place like the appearance of fire.16Thus it was continually: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.17 And whenever the cloud was taken up from above the Tent, after that the children of Yashar’al (Yisrael) would depart. And in the place where the cloud dwelt, there the children of Yashar’al (Yisrael) would camp.18 At the command of YaHuWaH the children of Yashar’al (Israel) departed, and at the command of YaHuWaH they camped. They remained camped as long as the cloud dwelt above the Dwelling Place.19Even when the cloud lingered many days above the Dwelling Place, the children of Yashar’al guarded the Charge of YaHuWaH, and did not depart.20And so it was, when the cloud was above the Dwelling Place a few days: according to the command of YaHuWaH they camped, and according to the command of YaHuWaH they would depart.
YaHuWaH gives Mushah the Torah of the two silver trumpets. The silver trumpets were used to call the elders for gathering and to break camp to follow the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.
A single long blast that is not broken is sounded to call the people for gatherings. This blast is known as tekiah. If both horns make tekiah, then all the tribes should gather together before the door of the tent of meeting. If a single horn makes tekiah then only the tribal princes (Nasim) should appear before the door.
Short blasts on the silver trumpets are done consecutively to announce that the camp is to pick up and follow YaHuWaH. These short blasts are known as teruah, hence the Day of Trumpets knowns as Yom Teruah. When the tribes would break camp they did so in the order of tribes instructed in Bamidbar (Numbers) 2. The first teruah announces to the tribes camping to the east to begin following YaHuWaH’s lead; the next short blasts puts the southern camp in line following after the first and this will happen four times. The four sounds of the silver trumpets announced not only the four sets of tribal divisions but the four letters Yod, Hey, Waw, Hey.The silver trumpets are used to announce a siege, the trumpets are also to be sounded when going out to war, and when making offerings for the New Moons, Feasts and gatherings at the Mishkan.
The children of Yisrael camped at the foot of Mount Sinai for ten days shy of one entire year. However in the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year the cloud was taken up from the Miqdash (sanctuary). YaHuWaH led his people to the wilderness of Paran where his cloud rested.
So they set out from the mountain of YaHuWaH on a journey of three days. And the ark of the covenant of YaHuWaH went before them for the three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:34 And the cloud of YaHuWaH was above them by day when they went out from the camp. 35 And it came to be, whenever the ark set out, that Muhah said, “Rise up, O YaHuWaH! And let Your enemies be scattered, and letthose who hate You flee before You.” 36And when it rested, he said, “Return, O YaHuWaH, to the countless thousands of Yisrael.”
The people began to complain insomuch that fire breaks forth from YaHuWaH and strikes the edge of the camp. Mosheh prays before YaHuWaH and the fire ceases.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:4 And the mixed multitude who were in their midst lusted greatly, so the children of Yashar’al (Yisrael) also wept again and said, “Who is giving us meat to eat?5“We remember the fish which we ate without cost in Mitsrayim, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic,6 but now our throat is dried up. There is naught to look at but this manna!”
The grumbling of the people was too great even for Mosheh (Moses):
Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:10 And Mosheh heard the people weeping throughout their clans, each man at the door of his tent. And the displeasure of YaHuWaH burned exceedingly. And in the eyes of Mosheh it was evil,11 so Mosheh said to YaHuWaH, “Why have You done evil to Your servant? And why have I not found favour in Your eyes, to put the burden of all these people on me?12“Was it I who conceived all these people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as the foster father carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore to their fathers?13 “Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat.’14“I am unable to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:16 Then YaHuWaH said to Mosheh, “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Yashar’al (Yisrael), whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them. And bring them to the Tent of Meeting, and let them stand there with you.17 “And I shall come down and speak with you there, and shall take of the Spirit that is on you, and put on them. And they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you do not bear it yourself alone.
Further YaHuWaH states concerning the meat:
18 “And say to the people, ‘Set yourselves apart for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, because you have wept in the hearing of YaHuWaH, saying, “Who is giving us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Mitsrayim.” And YaHuWaH shall give you meat, and you shall eat.19 ‘You are going to eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days,20 but for a month of days, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes an abomination to you, because you have rejected YaHuWaH who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we come up out of Mitsrayim?” ’ ”21 And Mosheh said, “The people in whose midst I am are six hundred thousand men on foot, and You, You have said, ‘I give them meat to eat for a month of days.’22 “Could flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Or could all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?”23 And YaHuWaH said to Mosheh, “Is the arm of YaHuWaH too short? Now see whether My word meets you or not!”
Seventy elders, Eldad and Meidad
Mosheh selects the seventy elders and YaHuWaH puts the ruwach (spirit/wind) that was on Mosheh upon them and they begin to prophesy. At this time two of the elected men stayed within the camp, Eldad and Meidad begin to prophesy in the camp. Yahuwshuwa (Joshua) ben Nun is very upset for the sake of Mosheh and urges that these men be forced to quit. However Mushah responds that he would prefer all of YaHuWaH’s people be prophets and that the ruwach of YaHuWaH would rest upon them.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:31 And a wind went forth from YaHuWaH, and it brought quail from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of ground. 32And the people were up all that day,and all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. He who has least gathered ten Omers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.33 The meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, and the wrath of YaHuWaH burned against the people, and YaHuWaH smote the people with an exceeding great plague.34Then he called the name of that place Qibroth Hatta’awah, because there they buried the people who had lusted.
Miriam Criticizes Moses
Mushah’s sister Miriam is very upset about Mushah having taken a woman from the land of Kush in which Madyan was a province. The scriptures tell us that YaHuWaH heard the words of Miriam and was very angry because “Mushah was very humble, more so than all the men that were on the face of the earth.”
Bamidbar (Numbers) 12:4And suddenly YaHuWaH said to Mushah, and Aharon, and Miryam, “You three, come out to the Tent of Meeting!” So the three came out.5 And YaHuWaH came down in the column of cloud and stood in the door of the Tent, and called Aharon and Miryam. And they both went forward.6 And He said, “Hear now My words: If your prophet is of YaHuWaH, I make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream.7 “Not so with My servant Mosheh, he is trustworthy in all My house.8 “I speak with him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not in riddles. And he sees the form of YaHuWaH. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Mosheh?”9And the displeasure of YaHuWaH burned against them, and He left.10 And the cloud turned away from above the Tent, and look: Miryam was leprous, as white as snow! And Aharon turned towardMiryam, and look: a leper! 11 And Aharon said to Mosheh, “Oh, my master! Please do not hold against us the sin in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned.
Miriam remained leprous outside the camp for seven days until she was healed, cleansed and allowed to return to camp. YaHuWaH waited for her before he allowed the camp to move.
This Torah portion is packed with information. We learn that we should not grumble but mind our words and be careful when complaining against YaHuWaH. We also learn of the great order of YaHuWaH’s coming kingdom. May YaHuWaH’s ruwach rest upon us that we may be vessels for his purposes.