Aliya Summary: The Jews are instructed regarding their camping formation. The Tabernacle was at the center of the encampment, surrounded by the “Flag of Judah” — which included the Tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun — to the east; the “Flag of Reuben” — Reuben, Shimon, Gad — to the south; the “Flag of Ephraim” — Ephraim, Menashe, Benjamin — to the west; and the “Flag of Dan” — Dan, Asher, Naftali — to the north.
The lead tribe of each camp was based on signs transmitted by Yaakov. The Baal HaTurim points out a correspondence between Yaakov’s blessings to his sons and these camp heads. Each son that Yaakov addressed in second person was to be a leader of a camp. “Reuven, YOU are my firstborn”, “Yehuda, YOU your brothers will acknowledge”, “Dan… YOUR salvation”, “Yosef… the G-d of YOUR father… blesses YOU”.