March 14, 2024 / 4 Adar II, 5784 • Parshat Pekudei
Issue 812
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

For the cloud of G-d was above the Tabernacle by day,
and fire would be there by night, visible to the entire
House of Israel, at all their journeys. 

Exodus 40:38

During their journey in the desert, the Jewish people never knew in advance how long they were going to stay at any of their stations.

Nevertheless, they were required to set up the Tabernacle in its entirety at each encampment, following G-d’s instructions to keep the Tabernacle functioning at all times. Thus, despite their inherent temporary nature, each station had a “permanent” nature, as well.

Nonetheless, the Torah here calls the stations “journeys” rather than “stations” or “encampments.” This is not in order to emphasize the temporary nature of each encampment, but to indicate that the intrinsic value of each encampment was that it constituted a preparation for the journey that would follow – indeed, for all the journeys that would ensue until the people would reach their final destination.

The same applies to all our stations in life – geographical, emotional, and spiritual – as well as those of our people throughout history. Each station is an essential step in a journey. Just as every step in our life is a necessary step in making us who we aspire to become, every step in our exile is a necessary step toward the ultimate Redemption, without which the future revelations of Divinity would not be able to occur.

--Daily Wisdom Volume 3