Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Beha'aloscha

Great projects are oftentimes derailed by small details. The Jewish people are marching towards their goal of the Land of Israel. Moshe tells Yitro: "We are travelling to the place that the Lord has promised to us." The stay in the desert will be a relatively short one, barely two years. The generation of slaves in Egypt is on the verge of becoming an independent nation in its own promised land. And suddenly the whole thing begins to unravel. Yitro abandons them and returns to Midian, thereby weakening the resolve of the people to enter and conquer the Land of Israel. The Jews complain about their diet in the desert, rebel against Moshe, complain against God, become frustrated and depressed and the grand march to Israel is aborted.

Small problems and prickly details undo great schemes. The Torah teaches us that the reaction of even one individual such as Yitro to the grand scheme can be sufficient to destroy the plan. Yitro has his reasons for leaving the Jewish people and returning to his home in Midian. Some of his reasons are truly lofty and spiritual ones - he wants to introduce the ideas of monotheism in his pagan society. Nevertheless, the damage done by his leaving the camp of Israel in the desert becomes irreparable. The Jews suffer a loss of morale and confidence. Their mood turns sour. And when one's mood is dark, no menu or diet is good, no leadership is acceptable, no faith can be sustained. The great opportunity for entry into the Land of Israel is lost for the generation of those who left Egypt. Small details and foul moods combine to create catastrophe.

This scenario is present in all generations of Jewish history, certainly in ours. There are many unpleasant details that darken the general Jewish scene. If we fall prey to those problems and interrupt our grand march towards a Torah society and the strengthening of Israel, we shall also suffer from the loss of exploiting correctly the opportunity presented to us in our time. To see the large picture, to rise above the weaknesses of time and detail and to be optimistic and hopeful - this is the challenge the Torah reading presents before us. May we be worthy of this challenge and escape the trap of the desert that engulfed our ancestors.

Shabat Shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Berel Wein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Mankind's Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Hide from Yourself
Shlomo Katz - 5760

> Teshuva—Paradigm Shift
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Benefiting from the Benefit of the Doubt
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Rosh Hashana and the Kiss of Life
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Shofar: Shock Treatment
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

It's War in There
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Trust and Position
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Reward and Punishment
Shlomo Katz - 5767

The Fast of Gedalya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

After the Death Sentence
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

ArtScroll

Elul: A Month of Preparation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

We're Our Own Enemy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

...And It's All Small Stuff
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

The Shofar: A Wake-Up Call
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information