By: William Jackson
Yesterday we started our journey to relocate to New England. Reflecting back this morning, I have so much to be thankful for. If it wasn’t for my wife Danielle we would still be in Arkansas getting things organized to leave. Also, we would have gotten a later start yesterday but a wonderful friend stepped up and watched over our movers allowing us to leave at 8pm as oppose to Midnight. HaShem is great for putting so many wonderful people in our lives. On that note, we are going to meet many of our like faith minded face-book friends in Nashville tomorrow, we are so excited.
Reflecting on last Sabbath’s reading, so much is relevant to our adventures for this weekend. You see, I read two weeks ahead on the Torah portion for writing and teaching purposes. I would like to address something I read last week in the 36th Torah portion Behaalotecha (1) which means “when you step up”. How appropriate for our journey but also this parshah (portion) has a prayer that is very fitting, a traveling prayer.
As we see in Numbers chapter 10 the Israelites are going to move out guided by HaShem (Numbers 10:33-34).
Each time the Ark (which is the manifestation of YHVH relationship with Israel) moves out Moses prays:
…“Arise, Adonai! May your enemies be scattered!
Let those who hate you flee before you!” (Numbers 10:35)
And each time the ark and the Israelites stopped Moses prayed:
…“Return, Adonai of the many, many thousands of Isra’el!” (Numbers 10:36)
I believe this brings up a great point. Every time we travel would should give a traveling prayer but also we need to pray for protection when we reach our destination or have an overnight stop on the road. We sometimes forget this piece.
Another point is that we have a responsibility to use common sense and a rational mind in our travels. I have meet people that will set off on a whim with no preparation saying “it is G-d’s will”. It’s not surprising when they find themselves at a dead end. Now don’t get me wrong, if Hashem wanted me to take off throwing caution to the wind I would and would be successful but I also believe HaShem made us rational human beings and we are to use discernment. Proverbs is laced with this message (Proverbs 3:21, 9:12, 20:15, 28:26). We see this before Moses’ traveling prayers. He solicited his brother-in-law Hobab (Hovav) to be a scout to help with the movement of the Israelites, Numbers 10:29:32. Why would Moses need a scout if he has Hashem leading the way? The answer is simple, just because we trust HaShem it doesn’t mean we don’t do our part. For example, HaShem feeds the birds (Psalms 147:9) but He doesn’t throw the bird seed into their nests.
HaShem has guided us so far on our journey and we will honor Him by giving Him the praise for our success and using common sense in our travels.