Torah Portion Beha’alotcha (When You Set Up) Numbers (B’Midbar) 8-12
Haftorah Reading: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
There are a lot of things to talk about in this week’s study. I would like us to zero in on a couple of issues I think will be especially helpful to us in our day-to-day life.
First let us look at Numbers 11:4-6. In these verses we read of the complaints of the people about their situation If you remember this is not the first time we see them complaining about something. After only three days and after the miracle of the splitting of the Reed Sea, Exodus 15:24, we see them asking for water at Meriba. G-d does not scold them but directs Moshe on what to do to turn the water from bitter to sweet. Then, after only a short time they complain about having no food. (Exodus 16:1-3) Again, G-d provides manna. Finally, at Rephidim, in Exodus 17:1-7 they complain about no water. Here again G-d provided without rebuking the people.
So, what makes this time so different? Why does G-d respond differently? Maybe the first three times the complaints were about the very necessities of life, food and water. While here in our portion the complaints seemed to be about a lack of variety in the menu. Here they are not actually hungry or thirsty. Here, they are complaining, spreading discontent just because they did not like the provisions of G-d.