Parshat Ki Tisa In memory of Shimshon Ben Shalom

(יא) וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ (יב) כִּ֣י תִשָּׂ֞א אֶת־רֹ֥אשׁ בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮ לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם֒ וְנָ֨תְנ֜וּ אִ֣ישׁ כֹּ֧פֶר נַפְשׁ֛וֹ לַיהֹוָ֖ה בִּפְקֹ֣ד אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה בָהֶ֛ם נֶ֖גֶף בִּפְקֹ֥ד אֹתָֽם׃

(11) יהוה spoke to Moses, saying: (12) When you take a census of the heads of the Israelite men according to their army enrollment, each shall pay יהוה a ransom for himself on being enrolled, that no plague may come upon them through their being enrolled.

The sages of Israel have a common question on this verse which is, it seems that the word 'Heads' in the opening verse is an extra word, and the Torah doesn't waste words, so what is it coming to teach us? The verse should have just said "When you count the children of Israel", without needing to mention their heads.

And I explained with the help of Heaven using the below teaching -

נז. מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אֱמוּנָה, חַיָּיו חַיִּים. אֲבָל בְּלֹא אֱמוּנָה חַ"ו, אֵין לוֹ חַיִּים כְּלָל.

A person with faith has a very good life called life. Without faith there is no life at all.

Which means that a person must believe that whatever happens to him/herself whether for the good or the better, everything that transpires - all unfolds in this world with divine providence from The Creator, may His Name be Blessed. As well, there is no such thing as a 'chance happening' in this world, and regardless if a person is missing something small, or missing something large, he/she must maintain their joy in this world, and should say to themselves the following advice from the sages -

אָמַר רַב הוּנָא אָמַר רַב מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי מֵאִיר, וְכֵן תָּנָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא: לְעוֹלָם יְהֵא אָדָם רָגִיל לוֹמַר: ״כׇּל דְּעָבֵיד רַחֲמָנָא לְטָב עָבֵיד״.

..One must always accustom oneself to say: Everything that God does, He does for the best.

And through believing in Divine Providence, that is the mechanism to channel down to yourself salvation from heaven.. this all applies to a human of faith, unlike someone who does not think or believe like this. That individual is quick to get angry at any given trigger, and their life isn't called a life, and salvation is far from this human, G-D forbid!

And behold, the commentators say that the word from our opening verse, פְקֻדֵיהֶם֒, their army enrollment, comes from the root meaning 'lacking' (Chisaron in Hebrew), as we see in the below verse -

וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ נָֽשְׂא֗וּ אֶת־רֹ֛אשׁ אַנְשֵׁ֥י הַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּיָדֵ֑נוּ וְלֹא־נִפְקַ֥ד מִמֶּ֖נּוּ אִֽישׁ׃

They said to Moses, “Your servants have made a check of the warriors in our charge, and not one of us is missing.

With this we can explain our verse from a spiritual perspective - 'When you take a census of the heads of the Israelite men according to their army enrollment', which is the following -

Whenever you seek salvation or to elevate your position in this world from whatever you are lacking, whether in the spiritual or the physical, then be like the heads of Israel, which we can see to mean that this principle should be at the head of and foundation of your protecting your soul, and then everyone gives their redemptive offering to HaShem (like in the opening verse), which means that everyone gave over their souls to HaShem to know and believe that everything comes from him, and its all for the good, and when you know that everything is divine providence from HaShem, and you believe it fully in your heart, then you will be worthy to have no plague in your camp (like in the opening verse), which for us means that in the merit of your faith, you have a level of salvation from all the suffering and pressures with the help of the Blessed HaShem.