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5 aspects of this Shabbat and the new month of Sivan

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

1. Mazal tov. After finishing Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus, we begin a new book on Shabbat -- Numbers (Bamidbar). It's the fourth book among the five books of the Torah.
2. There are those who claim that the book of Numbers is particularly relevant to our lives, especially since it describes events that took place during the forty years that we wandered in the desert. Indeed, most of our lives are not composed of climactic moments such as the creation of the universe in Genesis or the Exodus from Egypt or the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai in the book of Exodus. Most of our lives happen "belechtecha baderech" (while walking along the way), and the book of Numbers teaches us how to cope with our journey through life, with eager expectations on a long and winding road.
3. Bamidbar, the first Torah portion in the book of Numbers, begins with a census in which all the children of Israel are counted according to family, tribe, and function. Each individual receives a special designation regarding the arduous desert journey ahead. Indeed, each of us has a unique mission in this world.
4. This Shabbat is called "Shabbat Mevarchim" (the Shabbat when we bless) since we bless the coming month of Sivan that begins on Motzei Shabbat (the close of Shabbat on Saturday night).
5. On the eve of the new month of Sivan -- the month in which the Torah was given -- it is customary to offer a prayer for our children. I recommend doing a google search for "Tefilat HaShlah," also known as "A Parent's Prayer." It was written by Rabbi Yeshayahu Halevi Horowitz who prayed that his offspring and their descendants should learn Torah, develop outstanding character traits, and enlighten the entire world.
Shabbat shalom and have a good month.


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