This Shabbat we read פרשת במדבר, as we start the fourth book of the Torah. The Parsha begins with a census taking of the Jewish people.
Counting shows how precious the עם is. It is also meant to show Hashem’s kindness, as we went from a nation of seventy to over 600,000 in only 210 years.
Rabbi Soloveitchik adds that counting shows that each individual has his own uniqueness. It is important that we see how we are unique, and that we not be afraid to express this uniqueness.
This year Shavuot follows Shabbat and presents us with a יקנה״ז situation. This abbreviation teaches the order that we are to use as we make Kiddush on Saturday night.
The order is as follows: First, we make a Bracha on יין, wine, בורא פרי הגפן. We then make קידוש for Shavuot. After this, נר, a Bracha on the candle and a special text for הבדלה. The Kiddush ends with זמן, which is the Bracha of שהחיינו. This is יקנה״ז. Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach