Numbers have been on my mind lately.
This coming week’s Torah portion inaugurates the reading of the next book of the Torah, Bamidbar, literally, “in the desert.” However, it is known as the book of Numbers. Rabbinic Judaism refers to the book as such, “Sefer Ha-Pikudim,” the book of censuses of the Jewish people.
In fact, the census is commanded twice, the first time in the beginning of Bamidbar.
Since Passover, we have been counting the Omer. A meditation assigns a theme to each particular day’s number.
Yet, in the book of Samuel, when King David takes a census of the Jewish people, he is criticized and punished heavily.