Table Talk Series II: Bamidbar Print

Table TalkTo Be A Benefactor: “Nadav and Avihu died before God when they offered an alien fire before God in the Wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children.” (Numbers 3:4) The Talmud infers that had Nadav and Avihu had children, they would not have died. Was their sin that they had no children or that they offered an alien fire? Is there a connection between their not having children and their offering an alien fire?  Consider that children allow us to experience being a constant benefactor. How would children have affected their desire to bringing their own fire into the Mishkan?

Whose House Is It?

The Midrash Tanchumah (Nasso 14) describes the Mishkan as a “Mashkon,” a security deposit; just as a borrower gives the lender an object as security for the loan, so too, the Children of Israel gave God the Mishkan as security that they would obey His laws. This implies that the Mishkan was theirs. And yet, the Talmud says that the bells that hung on the hem of the Cohen Gadol’s garment was to teach us that we have to knock on the door before entering a home. This implies that the Cohen was entering God’s home, not ours. When was the Mishkan considered ours and when was it considered God’s?

Pre- Shavuot Discussion;
Arvut: Mutual Responsibility

When do we say, “Kol Yirael areivim zeh lazeh,” “All of Israel is responsible on to the other,” and when do we say, “Kol Yirael areivim zeh bazeh,” All of Israel is responsible in each other?”   Which one is found in this week’s portion?