Parshas Ma'asey is not only the end of Sefer Bamidbar, but in a way it is almost like the end of the Torah. That is because sefer Devarim is called "Mishnah Torah" - a review of the Torah. Thus, sefer Bamidbar marks the end of the bulk of the Torah's message. Let us take a glimpse at the grand finale of this amazing sefer wrought with all the issues of a developing of a nationality approaching its homeland.
The Bnei Yisrael stand poised at the edge of the midbar waiting to enter the land. Moshe Rabeinu recaps all that has transpired throughout the last forty years. The wars, the miracles, the sinners, and their punishments. A system is then set up for dividing Eretz Yisrael, and the cities for the Levi'im are designated. All public matters are settled and now we can close the Chumash and prepare to enter Eretz Yisrael.
But not just yet. There is some unfinished business to tend to. Didn't we just hear about the daughters of Tzlafchad not so long ago? Were they not over forty and still in need of a shidduch? They will be inheriting land in Eretz Yisrael and would then risk losing their their tribe's lot by possibly passing it to another tribe, if and when they would finally get married. One would assume that this can be left for torah shel ba'al peh to deal with. The personal details of their fate can surely be addressed by the medrash! True, the Gemara (Bava Basra 119b) says that they were so righteous it was hard to find them a suitable match, but this is no reason to break from matters of national importance to discuss their private concerns!
Yet the Torah does exactly as unexpected, and pauses from all the national issues, to inform us how this matter settled. They married into their own set of cousins with Hashem's advice, and (Mazal Tov!) the five weddings are reported in one posuk. Now we may continue on and with the congregation proclaiming "chazak" we can close the Chumash. Ending the four main seforim of the Torah with our eye on the individual amidst all the nationalistic excitement.
Now, I cannot be sure if this is what the Torah is trying to convey - but for me, this is the message that rings in my ears as we read this parshah every year. We are a 'nation of princes' where the individual lives for the klal and the klal for the individual.
May many simchos abound by 'alleh yidden' individually, and by the entire Klall Yisrael together!
Posted By Dovi milstein to KollelH blog at 7/09/2010 03:33:00 AM
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