Shabbat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20)

Chazak, chazak… we have left Leviticus behind us and begin the rebellious tale of the Israelites as they travel (lost, perhaps) bamidbar – in, through and from the wilderness.

In Bamidbar – the portion, not the book – we are told how to make holiness portable. We double wrap it – first in cloth, then in leather. The cloth – Torah uses the word b’gadim, which means “clothes” like people wear – is to be of the purest colors. Not white or black, but vibrant crimson, blue and violet. The pshat (plain text meaning) and d’var (metaphor, allegory and interpretive meaning) come together nicely here: take the holiest that you possess and dress it in your truest colors. These are no “Sunday best” cloths though! Your holiest should wear those colors whenever you move from place to place. But also take care to protect it so that it isn’t damaged in the journey. Be true. Live fully. Remain whole.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something which is “clothed”.