By Rabbi Guido Cohen
Asociación Israelita Montefiore Bogotá, Colombia
This week we begin reading the book of Bemidbar, known in English as Numbers, from its traditional name in Hebrew: Humash HaPekudim (the book of census).
However, the name we use today in Hebrew (Bemidbar) literally means ‘in the desert’. This name comes from one of the first words in the book, but it also contains a deeper meaning. The desert is perhaps the setting par excellence for the Jewish people, the site where it all began, the geography that made our identity as a people possible.