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    In the desert – B’midbar

    Generally people translate Midbar as “Desert”, but Dr Avivah Zornberg points out that the word does not denote a place of sands and winds but a noisy chaotic mixture.

    If we follow Rashi in his commentary to the end of the Book of Exodus, the Book of B’midbar might fittingly bear the name Sefer Vayedabber since Vayedabber is the first Hebrew word.

    Linking midbar with dabber, “to speak”, Dr. Zornberg suggests that midbar is a place of strange noises, chaos instead of civilisation.

    Once, chaos was a place which people tried to turn into civilisation by making it ordered, refined and dignified, but this is not the current notion of civilisation. Instead we now have corruption and a-morality, and people twist their words and compromise their consciences.

    “Out with ethics” seems to be the politically correct slogan, and chaos is back.

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