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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Don't Shout at Me!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Taking a Hint
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Missed Opportunities
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Rainbow Coalition
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

The Seven Noachide Laws
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Gift of Meat
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Joint Efforts
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

The Day Falsehood Married Destruction
Shlomo Katz - 5761

ArtScroll

Tire of Babel
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

In Man's Diminished Image
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

> The Perfect Storm
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Compounded Interest
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Why We Keep Sinning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774



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