The book of Numbers raises ethical questions central to the Jewish faith. Too often, we learn these Biblical stories as children and never revisit them—or their ethical implications—as adults. The Ethics of Numbers, the fourth in the Ethics series, provides further elucidation of these narratives and concepts.
Rabbi Dr. Abba Engelberg presents traditional answers, explained in depth, as well as original interpretations, to difficult quandaries, such as:
What is the Jewish view of asceticism, worldly pleasure, and self-deprivation for religious purposes?
What is the role of the Korban Pesach and Pesach Sheni in fostering Jewish faith?
Did Miriam deserve to be punished with tzara’at for defending the honor of Zipporah?
Was the punishment of the spies too severe?
What exactly was wrong with Korach’s plea?
Does Judaism countenance the act of Pinchas and can religion tolerate vigilante justice?
What lesson can we learn from Zelophehad’s daughters courage in speaking up?
Abba Engelberg graduated from Telshe Yeshiva (valedictorian) and Yeshiva University (cum laude), where he received rabbinical ordination. He received a Ph. D. from NYU in operations research, and has served as professor at Jerusalem College of Technology for 45 years, where he founded and headed the women’s division. He served as a reserve chaplain in the United States Air Force where he achieved the rank of colonel. He is the father of four sons and lives in Jerusalem with his wife.