Have you ever thought about the difference between a trip and a journey? On a trip we have a specific place in mind. The object is to get there. On a journey, even as we may have a destination, it is the experiences along the way that are memorable and often test our inner strength and vision.
The Torah speaks of the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land. We are told that there were forty-two places where the Israelite stopped, and where something significant happened that helped to shape the people that are our spiritual ancestors.
So too for us. Life is as a journey more than a trip. And from experience to experience, we come to develop qualities of character, courage and vision. For all of us, as we make the journey through life, there are challenges and triumphs, victories and defeats, and the reaching for new and enriching experiences.
As we confront the challenges on the journey that is life, I like the observation of Kierkegaard: “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”
According to the Torah, the Israelites were repeatedly filled with fear on their journey. Repeatedly, they demanded of Moses that he take them back to Egypt rather than facing the unknown future.
For us, may we be courageous enough to ever go forth on the journey that is life. Yes, there will be setbacks and disappointments. But only by “going forth” can we hope to grow and develop the inner strength and courage that real living demands of us.
I wish you a Sabbath of inner peace and tranquility.
Rabbi David Greenberg