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Daily Aliya for Bamidbar, Sheni (2nd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Now the census results. After giving us the numbers for each tribe, the Torah gives us the grand total: 603,550. This number, however, does not include the Levites. Moshe was commanded by G‑d not to include the holy tribe in the general census. Instead, the Levites are assigned the following holy tasks: dismantling, carrying, and re-erecting the Tabernacle whenever the Jews traveled, and camping around the Sanctuary, keeping guard over it and its vessels.

Commentaries point out that the low population figures recorded for Levi were closer to what would be expected according to natural demographics. The figures for the rest of the people were unnaturally high. This is a result of the Torah’s telling us, “and as they were tortured, so they multiplied”. Among the many miracles that occurred in Egypt, was the fact the the people proliferated so greatly under very adverse conditions. Since the tribe of Levi was not subjected to the harsh conditions of slavery, its growth was “normal”.