KolRabi 120 Words – Sedra Balak – How Many Died?
everyone knows that number – the concluding verse – those who died of the plague – 24,000
Chazal tell us however [Rashi 25:5] that each of the 88,000 judges executed two sinners – 176,000 executed on that day.
Why is the 24,000 worthy of mention but not the 176,000?
Statistics, the numbers that rule our lives, that provide cold hard indisputable facts [like how happy we are and which are the worlds most liveable cities] and are used to guide, determine and govern the decisions and paths taken by our community, are perhaps over-rated. Perhaps we just do not have better tools or have lost the courage to use our own common-sense judgement.
The Torah proclaims those lost to Gd’s plague, not those executed by the law.