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A Modern Orthodox Synagogue

Dear Friend,
Let's take a few minutes to look at a few of the verses that may be found in this week's haftarah.  
The haftarah for this week's parasha, Parashat Bamidbar, is taken from the second chapter of Sefer Hoshea.
The parasha begins with the Almighty's directive to Moshe Rabbeinu to take a census of the Jewish people.  Indeed, this census would eventually prove to be one of the major causes of Sefer Bamidbar's proper name: Sefer HaPekudim, or in English: the Book of Numbers.  In the opening verse of the haftarah, the prophet Hosea proclaims, "The number of Bnei Yisrael will be like the sand of the sea, which may not be measured or counted."
The parallels between the beginning of the parasha, in which Moshe Rabbeinu is commanded to take a measured and exacting count of the people, and the later prophecy of Hoshea, that the Jewish people will be as numerous as the sand by the sea, are self-evident.  What is very relevant; however, is the utterance of the prophet that follows his declaration of Israel's multiplication:
"And it shall be that, instead of saying to them that they are not My nation, I will say to them, 'you are the sons of the Living God'."  While Israel may be unfaithful at times, and unworthy of attaching themselves to the Lord, nonetheless the prophet tells us that in a future reality, the Almighty will acknowledge that we are "the sons of the Living God."
These sentiments are echoed by the words of the two verses that conclude the haftarah:
"And I will betroth you to Me for eternity, and I will betroth you to Me with justice, farness, loving kindness, and mercy.  And I will betroth you to Me with faith, and you will know the Lord."
In our times more than ever, as the Jewish people's name is maligned and our actions are unfairly criticized, it behooves us to recall this message of the prophet: the Jewish people enjoy a privileged status as children of the Almighty.  We should be proud of our heritage, and rejoice in this privilege.  But most importantly, we must constantly work to ensure that our actions reflect this exalted status.
All the best,
Rabbi Peretz Robinson