Messages from Rabbi Russo

August 5, 2016 - 1 Av

In the last two parshiyot of Numbers, Matot - Ma'sei, we continue to learn about the Israelite wanderings.  We read:  "Moses recorded the starting points of their various marches as directed by the Lord. Their marches, by starting points, were as follows..." and then a list tells us all of the places that they have traveled (Numbers 33:2).  Why is it important to list every stopping point? There seems to be a great emphasis on the journey.  The Sefat Emet, a Hasidic commentator, understands the significance of this list to indicate that wherever the Jewish people travelled over our very long history, we have created opportunities for Tikkun Olam - chances to make a meaningful contribution to the surrounding environment.   
We need Tikkun Olam more than ever today with so much darkness in the news and in our world.  As we each embark on our own wanderings in life, may we do so with an awareness of Tikkun Olam and the possible impact we can make towards the world around us.  Small acts such as returning a stray shopping cart, offering to help someone who could use a hand, or picking up litter may seem minor but can make an impact.  If we take note of every place that we stop with an eye towards how we can help, our daily routines could become much more meaningful.
Shabbat Shalom.