Welcome to the book of Bamidbar! We've finally closed the book on Leviticus. We're done with sacrifices, done with laws about priests, and done with the intricate details of the Tabernacle. We can finally get into the more interesting stories of the travels in the desert, like Moses hitting the rock, the spies exploring Israel, and the rebellion of Korach.
But...that's not how the book starts. Instead, Bamidbar opens with a census of the entire nation of Israel. Then, we're told about the nation's traveling formation. And finally, the Torah focuses on the Levites, and their special work related to the mishkan.
All of this seems like an odd introduction to Bamidbar. And the Levites' Tabernacle responsibilities seems particularly out of place, considering that we just finished Leviticus, much of which is about the Tabernacle service of the other special group from the tribe of Levi – the Kohanim.
Why is this the introduction to Bamidbar? In this video, we dive into the new role of the Levites, and see how it gives us a window into understanding our own responsibility, and our destiny.