As Shavuot heads our way, I’ve been thinking about Moshe in the desert. It took him 40 years to travel an estimated 1400 miles to bring the Jews out of Egypt and lead them to the land of Israel. And while I’ve spent my fair share of time in Jewish Day School and understand the reverence we are supposed to have for our Jewish heroes and leaders, I truly believe I could have taught Moshe a thing or two about traveling with family.
This week’s parsha, Parshat Bamidbar, is the opening to a new book of the Torah called Bamidbar or Numbers. This parsha introduces us to the 12 tribes of Israel and their encampment in the desert. Each tribe had a flag in a distinctive color with their tribal symbol (for example, Judah’s symbol is a Lion; Dan’s is a scale, Benjamin’s is a wolf). This parsha provides a good opportunity to talk about how the Jewish community is made up of many different groups that each contribute in different ways.