3 Posted by - June 6, 2014 - Bamidbar, Parsha


Parashat Behaalotcha



traveling can be broken down to three components. Departure from point A. Arrival at point B. And the way of travel. The how – walking, driving, flying, etc. With whom – friend, stranger, family, etc. And with what – suitcase, comp., credit card, smart phone, teffillin, etc. There is a unique type of travel though. The travel of a child. When you ask a traveling four year old, holding his father’s hand, “Where are you going?”, the response is , “Wherever my father takes me.”  Where are you right now?  “With my father.” Point A and Point B are just scenery. “I am with my Daddy, wherever he takes me, and I am traveling with whatever he brings with me.”

We are all traveling. From birth pangs till our last breath. Even if one believes that he is settled, it is only a matter of time until reality disproves this belief. This may sound unsettling, but it all depends on how you answer these questions. Who are you travelling with? Who packed your suitcases, your natural strengths, and  weaknesses? What is the purpose of your travels?  The answer to these questions depends on your perception of life. If you have Emunah, Faith, you have one answer to all these questions. G-d. If you believe in G-d, you are being led by His Hand. He packed your bags, your natural strengths and weaknesses, things that you discover inside you throughout your life. And the purpose of your travels is to serve Him in whichever scenario He puts you, and be rewarded in the World to Come. This is a very settling thought. All unsettling thoughts of mankind, are rooted in not believing this belief at the core of all one’s beliefs.

The Hebrew word for faith is Emunah. The root of the word Emunah, is Omen, parenting.(see M. Esther 2;7)  What is the connection between Faith and parenting? The connection we made above. Also, the word Amen means “I am faithful of it”. Like a child believes in his parent that things will be okay, things will work out, so is the faithful Jew believing in his G-d. This is why a believing Jew says in whatever he tries to do in life, “G-d willing” “With the help of G-d”.  I.e., I am not going anywhere without His Will.

The travels of the Jewish Nation through the desert is discussed this week. The Jews would  travel in the Clouds of Glory, in accordance with the Word of G-d. It did not make any difference if He decided to camp for an extended period in a place where things were difficult or move quickly when things were comfortable. Whatever He says is good. No questions. Because we are together with our Father.

According to one opinion of the Rabbis, there is a sixth book of Moses. The whole book is two psukkim And when the Aaron traveled and  And when it rested, the psukkim we say when the sefer Toah is transported in shul . This is why, in the Sefer Torah, there is a backwards Hebrew letter nun before and after these two psukkim. To reveal that it is its own Sefer. It is a separate concept, unrelated to what preceded it in the parasha or to what follows. Rashi explains that although these psukkim are out of place, they are here to separate between Puranoot and purannoot, between misfortune and misfortune. After these psukkim, the parasha begins telling us the stories of the trials and tragedies of the Nation in the desert. Before the tests and trials that are after these psukkim, there was a test that the nation tested G-d, and we are separating this one from the ones that follow. What was this test that the Jews tested G-d, that was not even mentioned in the Torah? It was so fine and thin, that you would not notice it even if you were there!

The Ramban writes that the test was the spirit of departure from Mt. Sinai after a year of encampment at the mountain. When they left Mt. Sinai , they were excited to leave like children who are excited to leave school. They said, “He might add on some more Mitzvoth to the 613 that He already gave us.” They were happy to leave, as if they had some place to go. This was the first Puranoot, the first trial that the Jews tested G-d. This was actually the core of all the other tests. That we did not believe in our Father that everything is going to be okay. That we think that we are not in His Hands. It was so deep, this mistake, that you couldn’t see it on the surface, even if you were there.

This close connection, this concept of Emunah, is the concept of prayer. Prayer is not only beseeching in G-d. Prayer is exercising belief in G-d. Mediation is a powerful way to find serenity in life. There is no better meditation than prayer. Prayer with your whole soul. The only way to pray with immense Kavvana, is through meditation. Meditation on the words, and on the concepts that you are praying. Meditation in prayer is transcending from the belief that I am in control of what goes on in my life, to the words of Veata Moshel Bakol, And you are in control of everything. Even if I am out of control, You are in control. And even if I think that I am in control, I am out of control. Even the sorrow that one has in life, it is easier to deal with when one meditates three times a day in prayer Tov Hashem Lakol Verachamav Al Kol Maasav. G-d is good to everything, and His Mercy is on all His creations… G-d is everything. And G-d is good.

So how do we leave shul? Are we happy to get onto the next thing?  Where are you running? G-d is everywhere! You cannot be successful without Him, you need Him! If you must leave then you just have to, but are you happy that prayers are over, to leave G-d?

The next time the kids in the back seat ask, Are we there yet? Answer them that we are always there. This is where I am supposed to be now. With G-d. It is just scenery that passes us by as we travel through life. Life is like that racing game where the car is steady and the scenery just passes by. We are with G-d. He is everything. And He is good.


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