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Another great Parsha with many ideas for your Parsha Party. REMINDER - THIS IS A SPRINGBOARD OF IDEAS. YOU CAN CHOOSE ONE IDEA OR A FEW. AND HAVE THE KIDS GUESS THE CONNECTIONS.
Parsha Overview (Feel free to skip straight to the Party below - simply click the arrow next to this text and the overview will disappear
Bamidbar – means in the desert. While the people were in Midbar Sinai Hashem commands Moshe to count the Shevatim, excluding Shevet Levi.
Count them by family according to their father’s Shevet and count them by headcount using shekels for each person. (Rashi: Hashem counts them many times because He loves them).
Count the Males Age 20 and up – 20 is the age they can go out to war.
Each Shevet gets a Nasi – a leader of that Shevet to be in charge of that Shevet and help with the counting. The pesukim list the names of all the Nesiim and then proceed to tell the counts of each Shevet.
· Reuven 46,500
· Shimon 59,300
· Gad 45,650
· Yehuda 74,600
· Yissachar 54,400
· Zevulun 57,400
· Ephraim 40,500
· Menashe 32,200
· Binyamin 35,400
· Dan 62,700
· Asher 41,500
· Naftali 53,400
Total count was 603,550
Shevet Levi was not included in the main counting as they were the “Ligyon shel Melech” the special legion of the King. They were appointed to be in charge of guarding the Mishkan and the keilim. They were to carry it, tend to it, camp around it, and were in charge of taking it apart when it was time to travel and carry it to the next place to set up. If a Zar – person that was not a Levi – touched the Mishkan and the Keilim they were to die.
Every Shevet camped around the Mishkan and they all had their own special Degel – divisions of how to camp. (Degel is also interpreted as a flag – Each Shevet got their own special colored flag in their camp). The Leviim camped around the Mishkan and the Shevatim surrounded the Leviim in a special order and traveled in this same order.
· Yehuda was in the front which was in the East. [Fun Fact: Their Nasi was Nachson ben Aminadav.] They camped together with Yissachar and Zevulun.
· Reuven’s camp was in the South, together with Shimon and Gad.
· Ephraim’s camp was in the West, together with Menashe and Binyamin.
· Dan’s Camp was in the North, together with Asher and Naftali. They were the last group to travel.
Next the Pesukim list the children of Aharon though it calls them the children of Aharon and Moshe because Moshe was their Rebbi and and a Talmid (student) is like a child to one that teaches him Torah. (Rashi). The sons are Nadav, Avihu, Elazar, and Issamar. Nadav and Avihu died without their own children for bringing a “foreign” fire that was not allowed in the Mishkan. Elazar and Issamar therefore were the Kohanim present.
Next Moshe is told to bring the Leviim to be in charge of different jobs within the Mishkan to help the Kohanim and guard the holiness that nobody from another Shevet comes and touches and dies.
The Leviim, are to take place of the Bechorim – the firstborns. This would have been the job of the bechorim because they were saved in Mitzrayim by Makkas Bechoros and were holy, but they lost the opportunity when they did the Chet HaEgel.
Moshe is told to do a special headcount on Shevet Levi. They get counted every male from only 1 month old! (Rashi – how would Moshe know how many babies were inside each tent? Hashem told him not to worry. You do yours and I will do mine. As Moshe approached each tent Hashem called out how many babies were in the tent. He did not have to go inside.)
The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kehas, and Merari.
Gershon 7,500 – camped on the West of the Mishkan. They were in charge of the curtains and the covers of the Mishkan.
Kehas 8,600 – camped in the South of the Mishkan. They were in charge of the Kodesh. The Aron, Shulchan, Menorah, Mizbechos, and their klei kodesh and covers.
Merari 6,200 – camped on the North of the Mishkan. They were in charge of the beams and the pillars.
Moshe and Aharon and their sons camped in the East.
Total Leviim according to the Pasuk is 22,000. (Rashi: However, if you add up the amounts you get 22,300. The remaining 300 Leviim were Bechorim also and this counting was to put them in place of the Bechorim so it doesn’t include the 300 Bechor Leviim in the total.)
Rashi comments in the countings of the Leviim that one has to be wary of who their neighbors are because they will associate with their ways. Kehas, with Korach, camped near Reuven’s camp and in turn Reuven joined in the Machlokes and lost many of their men along with Korach when he was swallowed up. And Moshe camped near Yehuda’s camp and they produced many Torah learners.
Next, the Bechorim need to be counted, males from one month old. There are 22,273 Bechorim. The Leviim are to take their place. But since there were only 22,000 Leviim available to be in their place there were 273 Bechorim that were left and needed to be redeemed. For these remaining Bechorim, they had to take 5 shekel per person and redeem them by Aharon Hakohen and his sons. The very first Pidyon Haben ceremony.
Rashi: How did they choose which Bechorim would give their place to a Levi and which would pay money to Aharon? Moshe did a lottery of papers and they either picked a paper that said on it “Levi” or “5 Shekalim”.
Next, Moshe and Aharon are commanded to do another special count. Count the family of Kehas and count the males ages 30-50. These men are in their prime of strength and in charge of the carrying of the Keilim of the Mishkan (Aron, Menorah, etc) But they are not allowed to actually touch the Keilim. Instead, Aharon and his sons need to take each Keli and cover it and wrap it with a special color covering and only once it is wrapped or covered then the Kehas family can carry it all. Tachash skin and blue wool covers are used for many of the Keilim. Additionally, there were red and purple coverings. This was all done to prevent anyone from Kehas from dying by accidentally touching the Keilim.
(Adapted partially from Chabad.org, and The Pesukim and Rashi)
And now for the fun part
SNACKS LISTED FIRST SO YOU CAN TRY AND GUESS TOO!
Dessert of any Kind 😊
Flag Cup Cakes (Cupcake, Pretzel stick, piece of sour belt or fruity peak wrapped on top of stick to look like a flag)
Packages of 20 cookies or candies
Candy Sticks with tons of tiny candy balls, or Jelly Bean Jar
Fruit Roll ups (Blue!)
Pacifier candy or Baby Bites or Donut Munchkins
Fruit by the Foot
Triple Dippy Candy
Fidget Spinner candy
Go Go Candies
Pack of 12 Cupcakes
THE PARSHA PARTY ANSWER LIST!
Dessert of any Kind 😊 -Dessert/ Desert where they were counted
Chocolate Coins – They were counted with Shekalim. Also used for the Bechorim that needed a Pidyon Haben and didn’t have a Levi to redeem them. The coins with Menorah on it also symbolize the Keilim that the Leviim had to guard and carry
Flag Cup Cakes (Cupcake, Pretzel stick, piece of sour belt or fruity peak wrapped on top of stick to look like a flag) – Each Shevet camped with a flag
Packages of 20 cookies or candies -The people were counted from age 20 and up
Candy Sticks with tons of tiny candy balls, or Jelly Bean Jar – Count how many balls or jelly beans are in the jar like Hashem counted the people out of love
Zillions (Shout out to Tzvi W.)– There were a lot of thousands of people. (Ok, it wasn’t zillions but it was 603,550)
Fruit Roll ups (Blue if you can find!) - The Keilim needed coverings on them to be transported by the Kehas family. Many of the coverings were of Blue wool. Also representing the Coverings of the Mishkan carried by the Gershon family
Pacifier candy or Baby Bites or Donut Munchkins -The Leviim and the Bechorim were counted from 1 month old
Fruit by the Foot – They would dismantle the Mishkan and travel by foot in the formation that they camped in
Triple Dippy Candy – Each camp around the Mishkan was made up of 3 Shevatim
Heart Candy – Hashem counted the people out of love
Fidget Spinner candy – (Slightly farfetched but….) The Bechorim spun over their opportunity to guard the Mishkan to the Leviim because they sinned by Chet HaEgel
Torah Oodles – Tov LeTzaddik Tov LeShcheno – Good neighbors are good influences. The Shevatim in Yehuda’s camp were near Moshe and Aharon and became Talmidei Chachamim learning Torah. (Sadly the opposite was true of the Camp of Reuven which were near Korach and joined his rebeliion and were punished along with him.)
Go Go Candies – They camped in their formation around them Mishkan and when Hashem said to Go and travel, they remained in the same formation to travel.
Wafers – Representing the beams and the walls that were carried by the Merari Family
Pull-Apart Cake or buns – They had to pull apart the Mishkan to travel
Pack of 12 Cupcakes – 12 Shevatim counted and 12 Nesiim appointed for the Shevatim
There are definitely more great ideas.... let's get some more please!!!
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Have a wonderful Shabbos!
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