The opening passage of the Israeli declaration of Independence asserts that Eretz Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish People. According to Rabbi Alan Kimche, this is hardly a description of the origins of our people. The land is our G-d given heritage, to which we have a direct claim, but it is not our birthplace. The location of the birth, nurture and identity of the Jewish people was a most unlikely one: in the desert – bamidbar.

Reb Mithch Heiffetz draw our attention to the uniqueness of each tribe in the desert. The newly born nation was led to understand the delicate balance any nation must strike between safeguarding diversity and preserving unity.

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