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Direction is what matters

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 08 May 2012

Someone sent us a point related to Parshas Masei and how the journeys of the Jewish people in the desert are a lesson to us about our personal travels through this world. He heard from Rabbi Chaim Kaufman of Gateshead, who also spoke about this matter and emphasized how the Torah points out that the Bnei Yisroel went back eight masaos (travels) after Aharon Hakohen passed away, as seen in Rashi. This comes to teach us that even the fall-backs are part of the journey and are needed in order for one to reach his goal. This is the concept mentioned in Chaza"l of a "Yerida L'tzorah Aliya" - "a fall for the sake of climbing higher".

Another interesting point that I noticed about the travels is that the Torah was given at the very farthest point from Eretz Yisrael that the Jewish people ever were in during their entire 40 years of wandering. And after the giving of the Torah, the Yidden began to climb closer and closer to the promissed land. Maybe this comes to teach us that the moment of true "Kabbalas Hatorah" happens to a person when they are at the farthest point, when they "hit bottom". It is as that point, that they make the descision to be mitchazek and begin to climb.

This is also why (according to Kabbala) midnight-and-on is considered a time of Rachamim (divine mercy) even though it is still in middle of the night. Yet mid-day-and-on is considered a time of Din (divine judgement) even though the sun is still high in the sky. Although this seems strange, the reasoning is beautiful. Mid-day-and-on is already facing towards the night and is therefore a time of Din, while mid-night-and-on faces towards the morning and is therefore considered a time of Rachamim - even though it is still the darkness time of the night.

From both these examples we see, that it is the direction that a person is going that matters to G-d, and not where he currently stands.