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Hidden journeys (short dvar Torah)

It’s aways good to have a bit of hidden depth of a pasuk revealed that you did not know existed; it makes you realise the infinite wisdom and depth of the Torah of HaShem. The Kotzker Rebbe provides a great example in our sedra of Massei. He quotes the pasul which intorduces the listing of the journeys of Bnei Yisrael in the desert; ‘these are the journeys of Bnei Yisrael’ (33;1).

He says that these are not only the journeys from the desert to the verge of Eretz Yisrael, but they also include the journeys that Bnei Yisrael are to make in their various galuyos in the future. These are the hidden meanings that we do not know the full extent of. Perhaps one example (I heard this from Rav Amram Landau) is the journey to a place called Chashmonah (33;29).

Does the word Chashmonah ring a bell? It reminds us of Chashmona’im and thus of the chanuka story -and to put the icing on the cake, guess what number journey this journey to Chashmonah was?

Yes, that’s correct, it was the 25th journey that ‘they camped/rested (vayachanu) in Chashmonah’; Chanuka comes from the words ‘chanu caf heh’ – they rested on the 25th (Ran Mesechta Shabbes 9b in Rif).