This week’s Torah portion, B’midbar (wilderness), is the first parasha in the Book of Numbers. It primarily discusses the census, the priestly duties, and our communal responsibility to protect one another and the Holy Tabernacle, which resides at the heart of the Jewish community. B’midbar means wilderness, and in a biblical context is a reminder that even when we leave narrow, constricted places such as Mitzrayim/Egypt, our journey may still take us through an inhospitable wilderness on our way to the promised land.
Yet— if we do the soul-searing work that wandering through the metaphorical desert of our lives— we realize that the challenges we face result in deep and enduring soul growth. It is in the wilderness that we are able to discover ourselves and connect with God.
This design was inspired both by B’midbar, and Shavuot, the holiday that begins at sundown on Thursday. Shavuot, which means weeks, celebrates the wheat harvest and commemorates God’s giving the Torah to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. I tried to illustrate the concept that in order to acquire the wisdom of the Torah, we must remain open-hearted as we journey through the wilderness.
Here is my prayer for this Shabbat:
As we continue our journey through unchartered territory,
may we be blessed with the strength and grace
to handle whatever we will encounter.
May we be present to the miracles that surround us, and
may we find a quiet moment to renew our sense of wonder.
May we remember our responsibility to protect and care for others,
especially those who are not able to protect and care for themselves.
May every step of our journey be on a road that leads towards
connection, understanding and enlightenment.
As always, you are welcome to share.