• Home
  • Parashah Insights
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals & Fasts
  • Articles
  • Books
  • About
  •  

    The roundabout path – B’shallach

    The Israelites leaving Egypt, from the Golden Haggadah,Catalonia, c.1300

    The Israelites leaving Egypt, from the Golden Haggadah,Catalonia, c.1300

    The sidra begins by explaining that when the Israelites left Egypt they did not go by the short eleven-day coastal Derech Eretz P’lishtim (Ex. 13:17, Deut. 1:2) but took a long, roundabout forty-year route to the Promised Land.

    Rabbi EE Dessler explains in Michtav Me’Eliyahu that the circuitous route is symbolic of human life.

    Things rarely go smoothly. Especially when a person sins, it is rarely possible to make an instant decision to come back to God in one fell swoop.

    Instead of the Billy Graham “instant conversion” approach, one needs to go through the wilderness, learn to struggle against evil and resist temptation at every turning, eventually becoming morally strong enough to return to God and stay there.

    Comments are closed.