Numbers 1:1-4:20

To read full text in English and Hebrew, click here: Numbers 1:1-4:20

In this Torah portion, God tells Moses to conduct a census of all the Israelite men over the age of 20. Moses takes up a second census to count all of the Levite men. God gives specific instructions to the Levites about their roles in the Tent of Meeting.


Click here for a summary of B’midbar
Click here for a summary of the Haftarah
for B’midbar

Moses conducted a census of the Israelites.

Text Studies

Social Action and Environmentalism

Making Sense of the Census
Rabbi Leslie Bergson, Hillel 
A Wandering People
Rachel Farbiarz, AJWS
A Map of Pluralism
Rabbi Neal Loevinger, KOLEL
Two Halves of a Whole
Rabbi Dorothy Richman, AJWS 
Naming Names
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Union for Reform Judaism 
On Child Soldiering
Noam Katz, AJWS 
Standing Guard
Rabbi Phil Miller, socialaction.com 
Spiritual Lessons of the Desert
Rabbi Jack Bieler

From the Denominations

Pluralism and Outreach

What is Parenting?
Rabbi Bradley Artson, American Jewish University 
Making Our Communities Inclusive
Cantor Rachel Spilker, Women of Reform Judaism 


Questioning Chronology
Rabbi Avraham Fischer, Orthodox Union 
Self-Accounting in the Wilderness
Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Big Tent Judaism 
Through the Wilderness
Rabbi Irwin Kula, CLAL 

Family and Fun

Parashat B’midbar for Families
Torah Topics for Today 
Order Versus Disorder
Torah Topics for Today 
Learning from Adversity
Torah Topics for Today 
Parashat B’midbar Quiz
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies 
Parashat B’midbar Challah
Julie Seltzer 

Return to the index of weekly Torah portions.

Discover More

Guide to Weekly Torah Commentaries Online

Where to find podcasts, videos and essays on the week's portion.

Reading The Prohibition Against Homosexuality In Context

The sexual relationships forbidden by the Torah are intended to prohibit non-Israelite religious practices and abuses of power.

The Binding of Isaac

The dramatic story, known in Hebrew as the Akedah, has perplexed many generations of commentators.