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Dvar Maasei

Dear Reader,

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While introducing Parshat Maasei, which recounts the travels and trials of the Jews in the desert the Passuk informs us that Moshe "wrote their goings according to their journeys, and these were their journeys according to their goings"(33:2). Why does the introduction reverse its terminology, and why does it repeat itself? Rav Bachya explains that the first part refers to the past, while the second part refers to the future redemption. That helps, but maybe the first one refers to the future and the SECOND to the past? How do we know, and what does it teach us today?

The missing clue is that the Hebrew word that means "goings" (Motze'hem) comes from the root word that means, "find". What the Torah could be alluding to here is that when things are bad it seems like you find faults in everything you do and everywhere you go. But the Torah then urges us not to despair, for your journeys will one day bring you findings! In the world of psychology it is known that depression breeds more depression, and it's easy to feel despair when nothing goes your way. The solution for then, and anytime we feel down, is to live our "journeys" with an eye for the "findings" that will find us in the future! Rather than looking back with regret, look forward with hope!

 
Quotation of the Week (thanks to Lance):
"Today is yesterday's tomorrow"

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Last Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2005