Parshat Matot / Mas’ei • Numbers 30:2-36:13

“The Israelites set out from Rameses and encamped at Succoth. They set out from Succoth and encamped at Etham. They set out from Etham and encamped at Migdol. They set out from Migdol…” This week’s Torah portion, Mattot-Ma’asei, feels as if a travel journal sponsored by AAA. The Israelites follow a circuitous TripTik laid out by God during their 40 years wandering in the desert, and this week’s portion recaps their journeys before entering the Promised Land.

This summer, many in our congregational family are off on journeys of their own. From exotic destinations abroad to day-trips in Washington State, everyone gets bitten by the travel bug during the days of summer. As our time on vacation begins to come to an end, it is common to wax nostalgic with favorite memories and stories before returning to the difficult work of catching up from vacation. The fun of sharing these memories becomes every bit as important as the events themselves — and often more informative. We learn from our mistakes, revel in our joys, and build upon our successes when we share these stories… just like our ancestors did so long ago.

Rabbi Aaron C. Meyer