Monday, May 23, 2011

Lessons for Moishe House Leaders

Parshat Bamidbar
Bamidbar 1:1 – 4:20
24 Iyar 5771 / May 27 – 28, 2011

Lessons for Moishe House Leaders
by Dovi Kacev (, MH San Diego

Parshat BaMidbar begins with G-d telling Moses that he and Aaron are to take a census of the Israelites as they were crossing the desert. This census is to be done by invoking the help of one leader from within each tribe to count those in that tribe. The parsha then goes on to list the tally of people by tribe, who in total numbered 603,550 without the Levites, who were tallied separately. Each tribe was assigned a position around the Tent of Meeting, in which they marched through the desert. The portion discusses the census of the Levites and the Kohanim and describes their duties in traveling with the tabernacle.

What can we, as Moishe Housekateers, learn from all of this?

Firstly, the idea that there needed to be a census shows us that every member of the community is important. Within each of our local communities, we too must be careful to acknowledge each of our community members. Also, just as Moses and Aaron were made to do, we should step back and appreciate the magnitude and vibrancy of the communities we have helped forge.

Secondly, there is also significance in the idea that the census was conducted by leaders from within each tribe. In order to truly be a community, the leaders have to not only understand the general members, they have to be a part of them. We have to be personally invested in our communities in order to help them thrive.

Finally, we get to the positions each tribe needs to take around the Tent of Meeting and the duties of the Levites and Kohanim. This teaches us that we do not gather as communities just for fun, but rather for service. We have responsibilities to ensure that the greater society functions properly. Regardless of whether we are priests or citizens, we each have a role to play and no role is more important than another.

Next time we you have an event at your home make sure that you take the time to appreciate the magnitude of the community you have helped create. Be sure to appreciate each guest as well as the immensity of the whole group. Take the time to be a member of the community as well as one of its leaders. Most importantly, help direct the community toward service to make the world a better and more functional place.


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