by Rabbi Abraham J Twerski MD
The Torah states: “These are the journeys of the Children of Israel …
Moses wrote their goings forth according to their journeys” (Numbers
The Torah commentaries say that the enumeration of the journeys and
encampments was to review all that had transpired during the forty years in
the desert. The names listed are not necessarily the names of the places,
but hints as to what the people did in those places.
A person who has a purpose and goal in life will pause every now and then to
assess how much he has accomplished toward reaching his objective.
Many tzaddikim, (righteous people) did an accounting every night to see what
they accomplished during that day and to correct whatever deficiencies they
discovered. So it was with Moses at the end of the forty years in the
desert. The Israelites were about to enter the Holy Land and he was about to
turn over the leadership to Joshua. The period of his stewardship had come
to a close. It was time to see what Moses and the Israelites had achieved
during the past forty years, hence the meticulous review of the journeys and
encampments and what had transpired in each place.
If we are serious about achieving a goal in our lives we must periodically
take inventory. What have we accomplished? How can we better use our time?