Bamidbar: The ta’amim of our congregation


I’d like to thank and to compliment all our members who have in the past—and will in the future—read from the Torah, co-lead or lead services for us on Shabbat and other occasions.

The Hebrew word for taste or spices is ta’am, and as the musical notes for the Torah reading are called ta’amei mikra, because they bring some spice or taste into the Torah reading. So for me, all those who contribute to our beautiful services, our amazing choir included, are the ta’amim of our congregation. It is wonderful to know that so many of you contribute to what we are at Bet David, a congregation of many.

Our Torah portion opens the 4th book of the Torah, called Bamidbar in Hebrew, and Numbers in English. It recounts the first census of the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt. The sages explain that verse “Sse’u et rosh kol adat b’nei-Yisrael—lift up the head of the whole community of the children of Yisrael”, which the Torah uses for the census, highlights that every individual of the community counts. The image is that Moses had to lift up every single head of his people, and by that looking into the eyes of each and everyone, not leaving anyone out, and recognising the potential of all of them.

Knowing that our ancestors emphasised the importance of the potential that is inherit to all the members of our people, I am glad that we follow them in their footsteps, doing the same—as I said, Bet David can be proud of being a congregation of many.

Thank you.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Adrian M Schell 

Picture above: Lag BaOmer at Beit Emanuel. Thank you to Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked and his team for hosting us for the evening of Lag BaOmer.


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