ANYONE WHO has to teach the weekly Torah portion is all too aware that some parts of the Torah are more engaging than others. And it is for that reason that most rabbis and teachers are probably relieved to be finished with the rather technical Book of Leviticus.

But this relief may be premature, since the Book of Numbers that we are now starting also begins without anything likely to excite the average reader. For most, it is only in a couple of weeks that we start hitting some fascinating and attention-grabbing stories.


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