D’var Torah: O holy Shabbes Bemidbar

By Rabbi James Stone Goodman

Midbar means Wilderness

from the root – word or thing

The place of the word

or of no words

the place of the single word


the place of speaking

well placed

the word that works.

The matter, the thing

economy of words

heat of the matter

this is where it happened

the combustible puff of self

inscrutable chemistry of the desert sun

that is why we return there.

BeMidbar, in the Wilderness.

the language of truth

this is the thing [see Numbers 30:2].

Davar — the pure articulation

Midbar – the place

speaking from essence source

to essence source.

We are unfolding the essentials

encountering the midbar most deeply

as we are leaving it.

Isn’t that good storytelling –

not telling the full story until the end?

Before leaving

I watch my feet

Attentive to the next step –

The next step only.

D’var Torah-Bemidbar

By Rabbi James Stone Goodman serves Congregation Neve Shalom and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.