Parshas Matos/Masai | The Kollel Connection
July 17, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:08 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:14 pm
Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.
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This week we read Parshas Matos and Parsha Masai. In Parshas Masai the Torah lists off all the places that the Jewish people stayed in during their 40 year journey through the desert. The commentaries are puzzled, why did the Torah have to tell us all the places that the Jews camped in? Is there any difference to us today whether the Jews camped in Chatzairos or in Hong Kong? Certainly the Torah is not a book written to tell us trivia. There must be a practical lesson from knowing the places where the Jews stayed?
The Alter of Kelm tells us a beautiful lesson from this. We think that when we travel somewhere, our goal is just to reach the place we are going to. The time we spend going there is just a necessary evil that we have to waste time on in order to get to the place that we are going to. If we don’t make it to that place, then we look at all the time that we spent trying to get there as a waste of time. For example, someone travels cross country to go to California. He or she will spend days or maybe even a couple of weeks on the road, countless hours looking for lodging, and hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the cost of the trip to California. When they finally get there, if the person they went to see is not there, or the place that they went to see is closed, they look at all the time that they spent traveling as a total waste.
The Torah is teaching us another perspective. From a spiritual perspective, every step we take in life has significance and power. Wherever we are at a certain time, there’s a reason for us to be there. Something in this world will be brought to its perfection by us serving G-d in the particular place that we are found.
We may not know why, but we must recognize that everywhere we find ourselves in life has a purpose and a goal. This is the lesson of the travels of the Jewish people. The Torah wants us to recognize that each of the stops the Jews made on their way to Israel were for a reason; each had a role in bringing them closer to perfection. Hopefully we can apply this to our travels in life, and find a sense of meaning and purpose in all the places that we stop by as we go through life.
Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!!
Rabbi Moshe Travitsky
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