Turning the Desert into the Garden of Eden
Bamidbar is called “Numbers” in English but literally means “In the Desert”.

The Book of Bamidbar begins with the words: “God spoke to Moshe in the Sinai Desert, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after their exodus from Egypt saying: Take a census of the entire assembly of B’nai Yisrael according to their families, according to their fathers’ household, by number of the names, every male according to their head count.”

According to S.Y Zavin, We read Parshat Bamidbar on the Shabbat before Shavuot to teach us that whoever keeps the Torah can change the face of the desert from a wasteland to the Garden of Eden as it says in Yishayahu 51:3: “For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places and He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord, joy and gladness shall be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.”

We have almost completed the counting of the Omer, the days between the Exodus of Egypt (Pesach) and the giving of the Torah (Shavuot).

Between the major holidays of Pesach and Shavuot we have celebrated two modern holidays, Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day and Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day where we have celebrated the modern miracles of the State of Israel and the Unification of Jerusalem.

Over the past 62 years, we have had the opportunity to see the prophecy of Yishayahu come true with our own eyes- the wilderness has turned into Eden and the desert has turned into the garden of the Lord.

May we continue to find joy and gladness, thanksgiving and melody in the State of Israel as we did this past week when we celebrated Yom Yerushalayim.