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The journey is more important than the destination

08/29/2018 03:07:06 PM

Aug29

Josh Conescu

The summer of 2018 is rapidly drawing to a close. We are in the transitional period between summer and fall. During this month of Elul, we reflect on our journey of the past year, as we approach the 10 Days of Awe. Our Torah portion, Ki Tavo, speaks to an Israelite community in transition. Moses prepares the people for the transition from nomadic former slaves to a free people with a homeland.

Once we have crossed into the Promised Land, we are commanded to build altars of stone, to cover the altars in plaster and to write on the altars all the words of Torah. Anyone entering our land will, literally, enter into our story. Our story, we are reminded time and again in Ki Tavo, is the story of the stranger, the widow and the orphan.

We are a people trying to become a holy nation. The Torah ends on the eve of our crossing into the Promised Land. We never actually cross over. What a powerful reminder that is - the journey is more important than the destination. How we make the journey determines who we are, individually, as a community, and as a civilization. Ki Tavo lists the glory that will be ours if we “walk humbly with our God” and reminds us, in excruciating detail, how we might lose God’s favor. The details are in our transition - the journey. We are always in a state of transition. It is up to us, today, to make sure that our journey is walked humbly, with our God.
Josh Conescu is a Temple member and teacher.

Wed, June 19 2019 16 Sivan 5779