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    42 journeys – Mass’ei

    The journey of the Israelites

    The sidra deals with the movements of the Children of Israel through the wilderness. Rashi tells us that there were 42 such journeys.

    There was more movement in the first and last stages of the forty years in the wilderness, which according to Rashi shows Divine generosity since God allowed a more settled life to develop during the middle period.

    The people were not constantly on the move throughout the forty years but had opportunities to develop a community life without continually having to pack up and move on to the next stopping place.

    Sforno suggests that the story is a tribute to the people, since most of these 38 years required unbelievable stamina and hardiness.

    After all, what did they live in? Not solid mansions but ramshackle sukkot! What fortitude the people showed throughout this period! God protected them against the elements.

    Whether they knew it or not, it was His miracles that maintained them.

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