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Thursday, 12th July 2018

Every letter and word of the Torah is precious and is written there for a reason, however, so much of this week’s portion, Masei, seems superfluous and for no benefit at all!

When the Torah summarises the journeys the Jewish people undertook through the desert, it says (as an example 33:18)  “They journeyed from Chatzeiros and camped in Rismah.  They journeyed from Rismah and camped in Rimon Peretz.”

Why does it repeat the place they started off in (in this case Rismah) - we know that if they journeyed to Rismah then the next journey obviously started from Rishmah?

It is like this for every journey that is recorded in this week’s Torah portion, why repeat the name of the destination for one journey and the point of origin of the next journey?

An answer given is that this is a message in life.  The journey of the Jewish people through the desert represents our spiritual journey in life.  Whenever we make a spiritual journey to achieve growth, as with a physical journey, we must know where we are coming from and where we are heading to in order to complete the journey successfully.

This is why the Torah repeats the origin even though it is obvious as that was the previous destination, to teach us that whenever we are making our personal journey then we must be conscious and sure of the point of origin as well as the goal to ensure we are headed in the right direction.


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