What Is Our Community

This sheet on Numbers 1 was written by Abe Mezrich for 929 and can also be found here


God tells Moses
to gather the tribal leaders
to take a count
of the people.
The word that God uses
for this counting is
lift up.


In the Desert
these people who have been counted
encamp around the Priests,
many of whom will lift up
the pieces of God’s tent
to carry the Tent
through the Desert.


When the Priests bless the people,
their closing phrase is:
May HaShem lift up
His face to you
and give you peace.


We lift each other
from the blur of the masses
to become counted people.


We, a community
of counted people
lift up God’s Tent
from the level of the ground
to a point above the earth.


We who raise God’s tent
call upon God
to lift His face up,
to lift Himself up
making our lives
lives of peace:
lives of treating others
as more than a blur of masses
but as people who are counted.


In respect for each other
we ready our lives
to bear the holiness
that readies us
to bear God—
Who guides us to respect each other.


This cycle
makes up our community.

Abe Mezrich wants to know what our sacred texts say about our world right now. Sometimes he comes up with poems as answers. Find him at AbeMezrich.wordpress.com.

929 is the number of chapters in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, the formative text of the Jewish heritage. It is also the name of a cutting-edge project dedicated to creating a global Jewish conversation anchored in the Hebrew Bible. 929 English invites Jews everywhere to read and study Tanakh, one chapter a day, Sunday through Thursday together with a website with creative readings and pluralistic interpretations, including audio and video, by a wide range of writers, artists, rabbis, educators, scholars, students and more. As an outgrowth of the web-based platform, 929 English also offers classes, pop-up lectures, events and across North America. We invite you to learn along with us and be part of our dynamic community.

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