your life made up of a many disjointed pieces, or is there a
continuum to it all? Are your choices being made by other people's
expectations of you and the circumstances around you, or do
you feel that there is an underlying script beneath the surface
of your life? Are you being torn in different directions by
all types of forces demanding your time and attention, or do
you determine what direction your life takes? Is your life a
journey from one point to the next, leading to a destination,
or is it a bunch of disconnected fragments?
Do you ever feel that your life is like a roller-coaster?
With unexpected twists and turns, highs and lows? Sometimes
you feel all motivated and enthusiastic; a moment later the
inspiration dissipates. What is going on? Why can't we find
This week’s Torah portion – which closes book
four of the Bible -- is called Massei, Journeys. This chapter
reviews in detail the forty two journeys that the Jewish people
traveled on, from the moment they left Egypt, until they arrived
(40 years later) to the Promised Land.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that these forty-two journeys in
the wilderness reflect the forty-two psycho-spiritual phases
that each person experiences throughout life. “These
are the journeys of the Israelites, who had left Egypt”
on the way to the Promised Land: All the 42 journeys are about
freeing ourselves and transcending the constraints and limitations
(Mitzrayim) of our material existence which conceals the Divine,
subduing and sublimating the harsh “wilderness”
of selfish existence, and discovering the “Promised
Land” – a life of harmony between body and soul.
This idea – that your life is a journey consisting
of 42 steps – can literally transform your entire life.
By examining the cycles of your life you can discover the
42 different phases you have experienced and will experience.
Imagine being able to trace the steps of your life and connect
the otherwise random dots – seeing how they all are
part of one journey leading you to your promised land?
The definition of a journey is: Movement with direction.
Like the captain of a ship, each of us needs a compass that
allows us to navigate the twists and turns, the ups and downs,
the swells and storms of our lives. By studying the 42 journeys
in this week’s chapter, you can learn how to align your
life, with all its ups and downs, to the compass of a higher
rhythm, and create a strategy that rides and taps into these
rhythms. It allows you to discover how to synchronize your
life journeys to the Divine coordinates that “lead the
footsteps of man.” It’s like having an inner compass
that senses life’s internal tempo, being able to pace
your outer movements by your inner rhythms.
When we feel that every detail of our lives – both
the highs and the lows, both the trivial and the important
experience – are part of a larger journey, it infuses
life with a new exhilarating feeling; you wake up each day
knowing that you are on another leg of your journey and that
you can determine the trajectory of your own destiny.
Here is a psycho-spiritual application of all our 42 life