In this second portion of the book of Numbers, we begin by asking ourselves why did the wise men of old who divided the "parasha" the way they did? In fact, it seems to be much more natural and logical to being our parasha this week at the end of what is today chapter 3 (there were no chapter divisions in the ancient text), but somehow the ancient sages wanted to communicate something to us by dividing the text here. As we study this division, we realise that the account of the sons of Kohath and their duty indeed belongs with the main theme of last week's portion which was rooted in creation and generation. Moving to this week's portion we study the temporal shift that leads us systematically from the 1st of the month of Iyar (the date of the beginning of the book of Numbers) back in time - to the "eighth day" (chapters 8-10 of Leviticus) passing through scenarios of leprosy, the fertility of the "woman" and the consecrated person. Having come full circle, we are ready to depart from mt. Sinai in the followings week's parasha.
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