The JPS Rashi Discussion Torah Commentary

By Steven; Sarah Levy | Go to book overview

BE-MIDBAR

❖ Love Languages
In The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman asserts that people express feelings of love or affection for one another in five primary ways: spending quality time together, giving gifts, speaking words of affirmation, performing acts of service, and sharing physical touch. Parashat Be-midbar, which opens with a census of the Jewish people, provides an example of a “love language” that God uses with the Jewish people.

On the first day of the second month, in the second year fol-
lowing the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Lord spoke
to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting,
saying. (Num. 1:1)

God instructs Moses to take a census, whose details are described in subsequent verses. Rashi explains why God wanted to count the Jewish people at this time:

On the first day … [the Lord] spoke [to Moses] in the wil-
derness of Sinai
: Because they were dear to Him, He counted
them often. (Rashi, Num. 1:1)

Rashi clarifies that God frequently counted the Jewish people as an expression of God’s love for them.Gary Chapman’s notion of “love languages” is based on the premise that just as ineffective communication occurs when two people do not speak the same language, so too one’s attempt to express caring for another can fail to have the desired impact when two people have different love languages. For example, a person who enjoys receiving gifts may naturally think that giving gifts is the best way to express affection. However, the gift recipient may think that spending quality time together is the ideal way to express affection and may not feel cherished when receiving gifts. By discussing what types of behaviors cause them to feel nurtured, people can be more fulfilled in their relationships.
Questions for Discussion
1. Which of the five primary ways to express love identified by Chapman would you most appreciate receiving from a family member? Does your choice change depending on the family member? Do your family members know your preference? If not, how would you feel about telling them?
2. Describe something memorable that a loved one did for you. Would you consider this as having been expressed in your “love language”?
3. Describe a time you gave a gift that reflected significant thought or effort on your part. What inspired you to give this gift to this person? How was it received?

-113-

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The JPS Rashi Discussion Torah Commentary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction - Introducing Rashi xv
  • Genesis 1
  • Bere’shit 3
  • NoaḤ 6
  • Lekh Lekha 9
  • Va-Yera’ 12
  • Hayyei Sarah 15
  • Toledot 18
  • Va-Yetse’ 21
  • Va-YishlaḤ 24
  • Va-Yeshev 27
  • Mikkets 30
  • Va-Yiggash 33
  • Va-YeḤi 36
  • Exodus 39
  • Shemot 41
  • Val-‘Era’ 44
  • Bo’ 47
  • Be-ShallaḤ 50
  • Yitro 53
  • Mishpatim 56
  • Terumah 59
  • Tetsavveh 62
  • Ki Tissa’ 65
  • Va-Yak’Hel 68
  • Pekudei 71
  • Leviticus 75
  • Va-Yikra’ 77
  • Tsav 80
  • Shemini 83
  • Tazria’ 86
  • Metsora’ 90
  • ’AḤarei Mot 93
  • Kedoshim 97
  • ‘Emor 100
  • Be-Har 103
  • Be-Ḥukkotai 106
  • Numbers 111
  • Be-Midbar 113
  • Naso’ 116
  • Be-Ha’Alotekha 120
  • ShelaḤ-Lekha 123
  • KoraḤ 127
  • Ḥukkat 130
  • Balak 134
  • PinḤas 138
  • Mattot 141
  • Mase’Ei 144
  • Deuteronomy 147
  • Devarim 149
  • Va-EtḤannan 152
  • ‘Ekev 156
  • Re’Eh 160
  • Shofetim 163
  • Ki Tetse’ 167
  • Ki Tavo’ 171
  • Nits Avim/Va-Yelekh 174
  • Ha’Azinu 177
  • Ve-Zo’t Ha-Berakhah 181
  • Subject Index 185
  • Index of Sources 189
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