Weekly Torah Portion
On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Eternal One spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, saying: “Take a census of the whole Israelite company…” – Numbers 1:1-2
G-d commands Moses to take a census of all the Israelite males over the age of twenty. The duties of the Levites, who are not included in the census, are detailed. Each tribe is assigned specific places in the camp around the Tabernacle. The sons of Levi are counted and their responsibilities are set forth. A census of the firstborn males is taken and a special redemption tax is levied on them. G-d instructs Moses and Aaron regarding the responsibilities of Aaron and his sons, and the duties assigned to the Kohathites.