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This Week’s Torah Portion: Maasei

Foursquare nail art

If foursquare had existed in biblical times, this app would have certainly come in handy for Moshe. In Parashat Maasei, Moshe lists all 42 places that Bnai Yisrael stopped in during their 40-year desert travels. Why did Moshe take the time to mention these stops at the very end of Bnai Yisrael’s journey? The Be’er Yitzchak of the 19th century writes how recalling these details of their journey in the desert enabled Bnai Yisrael to better appreciate how God had helped them at each stage along the way. While the desert was not an easy place to dwell in and to navigate for 40 years, Bnai Yisrael were under God’s constant protection.

How do you think this list of 42 “check-ins” served to support Bnai Yisrael as they were about to enter the Land of Israel? What are the journeys in our lives that enable us to better appreciate where we are today?

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