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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 16, 2004 /27 Tamuz, 5764

On the road again — and again and again

By Rabbi Berel Wein

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It sure took a long time for the Jews of the Exodus to reach the Promised Land. It wasn't by accident


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The Talmud lists travel as one of the things in life that are enjoyable in moderation but destructive in abundance. Therefore, the listing of the forty-two different travels and way stations of the people of Israel in the desert of Sinai is truly daunting. No wonder the people complained and grumbled. And even though the foremost commentator, Rashi, points out that the Jewish people encamped in one place, Kadesh Barnea, for thirty-eight of their forty years in the desert, the travels of the people in those two years — forty-one journeys — were certainly grueling experiences. What, therefore, was the purpose of all of these travels and travails?


What was the ennobling quality of that travel experience that was meant to improve Israel's spirituality and Godly mission? And what are we, the descendants of those desert-wandering Israelites of almost three millennia ago, to learn from their experience of travel in order to better our lives and society?

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I think that there are a number of hard-won lessons here. Firstly, that all worthy goals in life involve travel, loneliness, sacrifice, discomfort and dogged persistence. There are no direct, non-stop flights in life. There are always close connections to be made, transfers to be accomplished, and luggage to be stored, taken with or discarded, as the case may be. We are always on the road as long as we live. Our task is to have clearly defined destinations and the strength of will to reach those destinations, no matter how many detours in life we are forced to take.


The Torah (Bible) prescribes for Jews both national and personal destinations and goals. It also outlines for us a road map of life to help us accomplish our journey.


The past decades — and even centuries — have shown us how catastrophic it can be for Jews, individually and collectively, to ignore the Torah's road map and instead follow their own sense of direction. The generation of the desert was forced to endure forty-two way stations on its way to the Promised Land. But it had the distinct advantage of knowing where it was heading.


The only way to survive the trip that life bids us take is to know our destination. Then, the unavoidable difficulties of the trip somehow become more bearable. Secondly, there is the understanding that our journey is a dangerous one.


The Talmud enjoins Jews returning home from a major voyage to recite a blessing of thanksgiving for having survived the journey. Rashi observes that Moses reminded the Jewish people of the problems, dangers and deliverance that occurred at each and every one of the forty two desert way stations.


Rashi uses the metaphor of a parent reminding a child "that here you had a headache, here you stubbed your foot, etc." — in order to impress upon us that every way station in life is fraught with dangers and cruelties. Even with G-d's protective clouds and fire hovering over the Israelite camp in the desert, the Jews of that generation were not spared the heartbreaks and disappointments of life. And successfully dealing with one challenge of life, leaving one-way station whole and strong does not diminish the difficulties of the next — and there always is a next — challenge in life.


Thus, the travels of our ancestors in the Sinai desert light the way for our journey in life as well. The blessing of thanksgiving to G-d is one that should be remembered on a regular basis throughout our trip to our holy destination.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Berel Wein is one of Jewry's foremost historians and founder of the Destiny Foundation. He has authored over 650 tapes, books and videos which you can purchase at RabbiWein.com. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Rabbi Berel Wein