Newsletter

EVERY STEP DIRECTED FROM ABOVE

Roy Neuberger - Aug. 02, 2019


We have reached the end of the Book of Numbers (Sefer Bamidbar in the Torah) and the culmination of the travels of the Children of Israel through the Desert. The Holy Nation is gathered on the Plains of Moav, across from the Eastern border of the Holy Land, poised to cross the Jordan River.

 

The goal is in sight and the moment is filled with drama.

 

I have written before about my favorite road in the world, Route 90, the longest road in Israel, which links Eilat in the south to Metula on the Lebanese border. One can look eastward from this road across the Jordan River and see the Plains of Moav. I always imagine that I see over there the legions of Israel arrayed in their formations, still under the leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu[1], waiting to enter the Holy Land.

 

Parshas Masei, the last Torah Portion in the Book of Numbers, opens with the amazing list of the travels of Israel.

 

What’s so amazing?

 

What is amazing, my friends, is how we got here. How did we survive those forty danger-filled years, years of spiritual elevation but also rebellion and constant confrontation with our enemies? How did we survive as a spiritual nation, a nation destined to represent the King of the Universe? Even though we angered Him, He still protected us and enabled us to survive and reach this moment.

 

Indeed, when we reach a significant moment, we are obligated to acknowledge that Hashem enabled us to pass through many obstacles and we have finally arrived: “Shehecheyanu … Hashem has kept us alive and sustained us and has brought us here!” We have to thank Hashem for the fact that we continue to exist and we continue to march toward our goal.

 

As I write, it is the Seventeenth of Tammuz, the beginning of the Three Weeks, and we have just recited these words: “Remember Your mercies, Hashem, and Your kindnesses, for they are eternal…. Remember Your congregation, which You acquired long ago. You redeemed the tribe of Your heritage, the mountain of Zion, the one where You rested Your Presence…. Remember …. the affection of Yerushalayim, the love of Tzion … do not forget….”

 

Now, thousands of years later, these words fit our situation perfectly; they are the words we need to go onward. After thousands of years of wandering in the Desert of Exile, we are once again on the border of the Holy Land, poised to enter. Once again, we can look back on all the challenges through which we have passed. Once again, we are surrounded by enemies, but once again we are filled with hope.

 

“Moshe wrote their goings forth … at the bidding of Hashem.” (Numbers 33:2)

 

Every step was directed and supervised from Above! Every move was necessary. “Vayisu mai-ramsais … they journeyed from Ramsais in the first month … and encamped in Succos; they journeyed from Succos and encamped in Eisam ….” (Numbers 33:5ff)

 

Today, once again, Jews are on the move, seeking safety and survival, seeking to return to the Place where Hashem will again rest His Presence on His Nation. As we enter the Nine Days, it is vital to remember that Hashem is watching over all our journeys.

 

“Chazak! Chazak! V’nischazaik! … Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened![2]



[1] Moses

[2] This is what we say when we complete a Book of the Torah.


 

Recent Posts


Tags

war Zion Second Temple Hagar cholent Edom Temple Mount Esther Leah Golan Song of Songs paradise judgement Matisyahu Maimonides Esau Ammon creation David Midrash Faith Israel meraglim Amalek Zohar Rachel terrorists America tablets Heavenly Mercy heavenly gates stars Nation of Israel Angel of Death patriarchs'matriarchs Divine presence cries miracle priests shield of Abraham earthquake Beit Hamikdash idol incense chessed messiah menorah seder spirituality Maccabeans Eve darkness barley Shabbos Egypt shofar eternal Raiders of the Lost Ark Elul Amram Tisha b'Av Master of the Universe Jacob culture Red Heifer enemies idolatry tears hubris siddur Sodom Abraham Rabbi Akiva Bais Hamikdosh Repentence liberation light Torah portion Land of Israel Tu b'Shvat Jew compassion 2020 Vision Moshe king Babylon pain Moshiach redeemer Europe stones forefathers High Holy Days rain prayer book Psalm Sephardi Children of Israel Yerushalayim water Achashveirosh God Isaac redemption Pharaoh miracles Yaakov eternity Ruth prophets Moses Creator G-d blessing Tallis Chanukkah sanctity slavery Lot sin Sukkah Ishamael angels Zion, Angel Terror Attack in Jerusalem peace King David heaven Laban Rome Chofetz Chaim leprosy King Solomon Prophecy prayers Golden Calf plague soul India bible Rosh Hashanah Purim Sefiras haOmer repent Talmud Exodus media gossip salvation Jerusalem Tefillin chaos Pinchas Passover Hebrew Sabbath Tzuk etan Solar eclipse spies holiday Shechina fear Parsha Isaiah materialism Ishmeal Samuel Passover Seder slaves bris milah New Moon Moshaich Solomon Eglon King of the Universe Lunar eclipse Sukkos Jews patriarchs Avraham lights Golus Miriam Judaism Western World Rebbe danger rosh chodesh sacrifices Final redemption Day of Atonement shmittah evil inclination violence Aharon Greeks Torah scholars commandment Holiness Earth Baku holy Holy Temple Holy Ark heavenly throne Blame sun survival rabbi Galil Day of Judgement pray esrog matzos Hasmoneans flood Shavuos bird evil exile United Nations fault night minyan Abrahem Judgement Day Holocaust keys Babylonia Banias Red Sea Psalms Shushan kiddush Jewish holidays dreams Bilaam Father in Heaven locusts repentance Protective edge High Priest Torah Rabbis Hashem automobiles ethics synagogue terror prophet Samuel Jeremiah Chol haMoed Mount Hermon Sarah Mordechai moon Macabees Rebecca ancestors Ashkenazi Adam deluge Geula song Dead Sea Holy land alone Noah Genesis Zechariah Garden of Eden biblical Teshuva self-worship Samuel the Prophet Ezekiel Joseph prophet End of Days brotherhood Moab Chanukah world to come Rashi Judah mitzvos trees Gog persecution Matriarchs resurrection fires Boaz purity Magog Temple Canaan Sea of Galilee yarmulke mikveh, Sabbath Malbim mitzva death missiles Tu b'Av kosher angel Chafetz Chaim kinneret kesuba tabernacle Haman Sages fragrance prayer Mount Sinai evolution tremors logic Western Wall Yom Kippur spiritual secret mikveh Rosh Hashana Jewish People Jewish Benjamin yeshiva Ten Commandments Miraglim Mount Zion murder Balak Ishmael terrorism three weeks terrorist Jewish festival

Archive