The distance from Egypt to Israel is modest, yet in the story of Exodus the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years. Why?
It is said that the old generation was not yet ready to enter Israel – that their slave mentality, imprinted from generations in bondage, would not allow them to step into the high spiritual role expected of them in their new home. The forty years allowed a new generation to attain adulthood, untainted by the shackles of slavery and ready to enter the Promised Land.
The 40 years gave the travelers time to experience the lessons along the way. It describes an experiential journey rather than a geographical one between Egypt (Mitzrayim in Hebrew, meaning ‘narrow straits,’ or limitations) and Israel (meaning ‘may G-d prevail,’ or ‘who prevails with G-d)’.
Curiously, though the older generation did not merit to enter the Holy Land, it is said that no generation since has attained their level of spiritual greatness. What is the meaning of this apparent contradiction?
Moses, always the teacher, surely had lessons to share even in his passing.
Could it be that the story of Moses’ demise outside the Promised Land was not a story of punishment, but rather points to a greater lesson: that the journey itself, fueled by passionate desire and sustained by devotion, is the greatest possible human achievement? Could this be the reason Moses never entered the land of Israel?
Does the Exodus story hint that our special gift as humans is to be engaged in the struggle: to be en route rather than arriving? Like a mother, whose heart sings at her child’s first steps, maybe ‘the universe’ has a special love for us while we are in the throes of grasping what it is we are supposed to learn. While the mother’s ultimate goal is to see her child ‘fully fledged’ and independent, perhaps nothing is as achingly sweet as those first wobbly steps.
Being on the journey, fully engaged in the lessons of the journey, is to be human at its best. Arrival at the destination, a kind of ‘graduation,’ is a lovely http://outdoortvclassics.com/purchase-accutane-online/ marker of completion, but it is but a momentary pause that also marks the beginning of another chapter, another journey. While we are here, on earth, wandering through the desert, we are students, and it is specifically as students that we are most beloved by our headmaster, our Rosh Yeshiva beshamayim.
We are loved for our humanness, because of our humanness. We are loved for our not-knowing-that-is-on-the-journey-towards-knowing. We are learning how to walk, with sometimes very wobbly steps. This is the human condition.
The idea of the Holy Land beckoned like a beacon of light, whereas the reality of entering the Holy Land was the beginning of hundreds of years’ more lessons. Moses, having perfected his journey, graduated to a truer Holy Land, whereas the rest of the people graduated to a Holy Land still ‘in progress,’ to another stage in the journey.
We are on a journey. We may not have 40 years, and we may not have time to start over. We just have to do what we can, in the time that we have, to learn to release any leftover slave mentality of oppression, shame, limitation and lack as we travel the path to our own higher selves.
May we all, with spirit fully free and with hearts fully healed, journey to the holy land of a new reality, heaven on earth, Gan Eden, where we speak our truth and share our self-expression, the Promised Land.
May we train our sights on our destination, and yet also love every step of the way.
May our vision lead us on the journey . . . and may our journey become the vision.
Reba Linker is a coach and author specializing in inspirational books for women. Her book, Follow the Yarn, encourages others to ‘follow their own yarn,’ tell their stories, and discover their true voice. Download your free excerpt by signing up for the newsletter in the upper right hand corner of the website.
The artwork accompanying this post is available for purchase at http://www.HebrewPrayersLearningSeries.com