Traveling Through the Wild

The reading of the weekly Torah portion is now in the book of Vayikra/Leviticus, which is the part that people find the most boring and irrelevant.  Burning of incense and sacrifices on the altar, yada, yada, yada. What does it have to teach me, today?  This always leads me back to the same debate about the Third Temple and whether or not it will be rebuilt and what worship at the Temple would look like.

A guest at my Shabbat lunch meal today suggested that there wouldn’t be such a significant part of the Torah dedicated to sacrifices if it were just meant for a temporary period of time only, when Jews really needed a physical way to worship, lest they be worshipping idols.

I don’t have an answer, so I’ll focus on what I do know.  The Torah remains for me a very relevant guide to everyday life, even if its original sources and examples seem antiquated.  A perfect example is תפילת הדרך, Tefillat HaDerech, the Wayfarer’s Prayer.  While I feel like saying a prayer every time I board an Egged bus and am at the mercy of drivers that like to see how fast it can pull away from the curb (and all joking aside, Jerusalem buses were a popular target for terrorist bombings not all that long ago), Jewish law is to say it only when leaving a city.

Tomorrow in the early AM I am embarking on a journey, hiking from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee, also known as Yam L’Yam.  It’s part of שביל ישראל,  the Israel Trail, which snakes throughout the country.  The text of Tefillat HaDerech, requesting protection from “every enemy and ambush, from robbers and wild beasts on the trip,” usually seems humorous, especially when I am traveling on an airplane.  Not this time.  I’ll be subject to whatever elements come my way for the next 72 hours.

I hope that the trip will provide me with some much needed exercise, pre-Pesach recharging of batteries, and reconnection to nature and the Land.

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1 Response to “Traveling Through the Wild”



  1. 1 Four Amot « Aliyah L'Torah Trackback on March 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

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ilene

Ilene Rosenblum is a writer and marketing professional living in Jerusalem.

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