Every Journey has a meaning

Thursday, 12 July, 2018 - 2:23 pm

When one encounters a mashal – a parable – brought by Chazal, it is worthwhile to spend some time thinking about every detail in it, because Chazal chose each and every one of their words carefully.

On the second pasuk in parashat Masei, which says, “Moshe wrote their goings forth according to their journeys,” Rashi brings the following mashal: What is this like? Like a king whose son was sick, and he took him somewhere to heal him. When they were on their way back (home), his father started counting all the journeys, and said to him: “Here we slept,” Here something happened to us,” “Here you were afraid.”

In other words, it is quite clear that Rashi is explaining to us, through this parable, that the reason for noting all of Bnei Yisrael’s journeys in the wilderness was not just in order to keep a record of them, but so that we will understand that these journeys had meaning, a goal and a reason. Therefore, the father, with his now-healthy son, retraces these moments of challenge when he was sick, because that way he shows him that they are meaningful.

And why is it emphasized in the mashal that the father is mentioning the journeys particularly when they are on their way back? Because many times during a journey, especially when it is difficult, it is impossible to understand it and its reason. Moreover, sometimes it is extremely hard to digest it. But when the father is returning with his recovered son, he is able to look back and see how each step of the journey was really a step towards good health.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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