The Grand Total

Do you really think, Shazak, that I used an adding machine? Really?!

Parshas Bamidbar #8

The Grand Total

Once every man had given his half-Shekel, each of the Nesi’im were in charge of counting their tribe’s coins.

These are the exact totals:

Reuven – 46,500

Shimon – 59,300

Gad – 45,650

Yehudah – 74,600

Yissachar – 54,400

Zevulun – 57,400


Amazing! All the numbers were even numbers!

Quite odd indeed! Ahem, I mean quite even indeed!

Will this continue?

Let’s see:

Ephraim – 40,500

Menashe – 32,200

Binyamin – 35,400

Dan – 62,700

Asher – 41,500

Naftali – 53,400


Yes! 11 tribes had an even 100 to their count and the tribe of Gad an even 50!

Even more amazing! Get it? EVEN more amazing?

And the grand total?

603,550 half-Shekel coins.

The Grand Total

Shazak insight

Census Taking – It Makes Plenty of Sense!

Perhaps, taking a cue from our Parsha, governments worldwide also take censuses. In fact, in 1790, our founding fathers of America, who were G-d fearing people, signed a law stating that a census must be taken every 10 years. A few months after the bill was signed, around 650 U.S. Marshals were sent to conduct the census. They counted almost 4 million people.

Most recently, in the census of the year 2010, the government employed 635,000. And the final count? A lot more: over 300 million Americans!

The census gives the government information they need to build schools, plan streets and highways, and much more. Doesn’t that census make census sense?