They count and we count, we count members of the tribes and they count delgates
I could not help be amused by the old adage, that we can always find something relevant in the Torah portion of the week to what is going on in the world.
As the world’s attention was on the Democratic Rules committee meeting, I was in shul listening to the Torah being read. Which portion? Bamidbar aka Numbers.
During the second year after the Exodus, Hashem commanded Moshe and Aaron to conduct a census of male Israelites ages 20-60 (i.e., who were liable for military service). The census revealed 603,550 such men (Levites were excluded because of their special duties in connection with the Mishkon (Tabernacle)).
The committee voted to restore the entire Florida delegation but give each delegate only half a vote, a penalty for moving up its primary and a warning to other states that might consider doing the same in 2012. The vote was 27 in favor and 1 abstention. The committee first turned back a motion, by a vote of 15 to 12, to seat the full delegation and give each delegate full voting rights.
Of all the weeks for the focus of the Presidential primaries to focus so closely on counting, it is the week that the Jewish people read an important census in the Torah.
In other words, how we count and allocate resources, be they land or votes, needs to be done according to established rules. The Torah counted heads of households, men from 20-60, and NOT the Levites. The tribes were allocated portions of land eventually in Israel…
The DNC changed the rules midstream it appears to placate its membership, but it may end up causing more division than unity. When the rules are changed midstream everyone can feel cheated.
It is also ironic that the states that wanted their voice to count FIRST – i .e. they felt more important – did not get their wish, were penalized, but were relegated to importance at the end of the process.