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Parshat Bamidbar/Erev Shavuot                                               June 8, 2019  5 Sivan, 5779
                SHABBAT TORAH                  Rabbi Sacks on Parshat Bamidbar
                ARTSCROLL  726
                   HERTZ   568         Bamidbar begins with a   counted the people, but there   soldier dies in battle,
                                                         census of the Israelites.   was Divine anger and 70,000   another will take his place.
              SHABBAT HAFTORAH         That is why this book is   people died. How can this be, if  If one person leaves the
               ARTSCROLL  1180         known in English as     counting is an expression of   organization, someone else
                    HERTZ  582         Numbers. What is the    love? The Torah is explicit in   can be hired to do his or her

                SHAVUOT TORAH          significance of this act of  saying that taking a census of   job.
             ARTSCROLL  400/1018       counting? And why here   the nation is fraught with risk:   Notoriously, too, crowds
                 HERTZ   290/814       at the beginning of the   Then God said to Moses,   have the effect of tending to
                SIDDUR 966/965         book? Besides which,    “When you take a census of   make the individual lose his
                                       there have already been   the Israelites to count them,
                SHAVUOT MAFTIR         two previous censuses of  each must give to God a   or her independent
                ARTSCROLL  892         the people and this is the  ransom for his life at the time   judgment and follow what
                    HERTZ  696         third within the space of   he is counted. Then no plague   others are doing. We call
                   SIDDUR 968          a single year. Surely one  will come on them when you   this “herd behavior,” and it
                                                         would have been   number them. (Ex. 30:11-12).   sometimes leads to
              SHAVUOT HAFTORAH                                                             collective madness. In 1841
            ARTSCROLL  1228/1229       sufficient. And does    The answer to this apparent   Charles Mackay published
                HERTZ  1027/1032       counting have anything   contradiction lies in the phrase  his classic study,
                SIDDUR 968/969         to do with leadership?   the Torah uses to describe the  Extraordinary Popular
                                       The place to begin, is to
                     Times             note what appears to be   act of counting: se’u et rosh,   Delusions And The Madness
                                       a contradiction. On the   literally, “lift the head.” This is  Of Crowds, which tells of
           Mincha               7:00 pm   one hand Rashi says that   a strange, circumlocutory   the South Sea Bubble that
                                                                                           cost thousands their money
                                                               expression. Biblical Hebrew
           Candle Lighting      8:06 pm   the acts of counting in   contains many verbs meaning   in the 1720s, and the tulip
                                       the Torah are gestures of
           Hashkama             8:00 am                        “to count”: limnot, lifkod,   mania in Holland when
                                       love on the part of God:
           Youth Minyan         8:30 am   Because they (the    lispor, lachshov. Why does the  fortunes were spent on
                                                                                           single tulip bulbs. The Great
                                                               Torah not use these simple
                                       children of Israel) are
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am                        words, choosing instead the   Crashes of 1929 and 2008
                                       dear to Him, God counts
           Main                 9:00 am   them often. He counted   roundabout expression, “lift   had the same crowd
                                                               the heads” of the people? The
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   them when they were   short answer is this: In any
                                       about to leave Egypt. He                            Another great work, Gustav
           Gemara Shiur         7:00 pm   counted them after the   census, count or roll-call there   Le Bon’s The Crowd: A
           Mincha               8:00 pm   Golden Calf to establish   is a tendency to focus on the   Study of the Popular Mind
                                       how many were left. And   total: the crowd, the multitude,   (1895) showed how crowds
           Candle Lighting      9:14 pm                        the mass. Here is a nation of
                                       now that He was about to                            exercise a “magnetic
           Sun. & Mon.                 cause His presence to   60 million people, or a     influence” that transmutes
           June 9-10          See Page 4   rest on them (with the   company with 100,000   the behavior of individuals
           Shavuot Schedule            inauguration of the     employees or a sports crowd of   into a collective “group
           Tues., Wed. & Fri.                   6:45/7:45 am   sanctuary), He counted   60,000. Any total tends to   mind.” As he put it, “An
                                                               value the group or nation as a
           Thurs.            6:35/7:45 am   them again. So we learn   whole. The larger the total, the   individual in a crowd is a
           Mincha               8:10 pm   that when God initiates a   stronger is the army, the more   grain of sand amid other
                                       census of the Israelites, it                        grains of sand, which the
                   Latest Times for    is to show that He loves   popular the team, and the   wind stirs up at will.” People
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   them.                   more successful the company.   in a crowd become
                                                               Counting devalues the
           June 8           9:08/10:23 am   In contradiction to this,   individual and tends to make   anonymous. Their
                                                                                           conscience is silenced. They
           June 15          9:09/10:24 am   centuries later King David  him or her replaceable. If one
                    Next Shabbat                                            Kiddush is provided by Great Neck Synagogue
           Mincha               7:00 pm              Flowers for Shavout are sponsored by
                                        Rita Gordonson & Family in memory of Lewis Gordonson z”l
           Candle Lighting      8:09 pm
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