In the Book of Numbers, a Prototype for the Two Sides of Jewish Peoplehood

This Sabbath’s Torah reading of Bamidbar consists of the opening chapters of the book of Numbers, which begins and ends with God commanding Moses to take a census of the Jewish people. To the great 11th-century commentator Rashi, the repeated counting of the Israelites is an expression of God’s love; to his more literal-minded grandson Shmuel ben Meir (known as the Rashbam), it is a practical measure for a people readying to go into battle. Lawrence Kaplan argues that these two approaches are complementary:

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More about: Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem, Judaism, Numbers

The American Association of University Professors Celebrates Anti-Semitism

Last week, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an influential academic organization, announced that Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University would receive one of its annual awards, citing her “courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights . . . in her scholarship, teaching, [and] public advocacy” as well as her efforts to “advance the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally.” Those efforts, notes Jonathan Marks, include supporting the exclusion of the Jewish campus group Hillel from a university-wide event, and lambasting the school’s president for apologizing for that exclusion:

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More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus