This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2015.
For many of us, life can seem at times like the title of Eugene O’Neill’s famous play, Long Day’s Journey into Night. We can be beset with struggles. Life can seem, at times, a challenge. However, what keeps us on the journey? We rise each day to continue on a mission that is far bigger than ourselves. Yes, life has its ups and downs, but it can also yield great rewards. It is the spark of the Creator that we each house inside longing to be ignited into a flame that provides us with the fulfillment we seek in life. As many people who have achieved fame or fortune can attest, those things did not bring them the happiness that they had hoped. Our Promised Land is the state of becoming like the Creator, in all His attributes of love, sharing, generosity, and kindness. It is in this space that we live a life of peace, blessings, and fulfillment. This week, we complete the month of Cancer and conclude the fourth book of the Torah. Our journey may seem long, but it has been worth the ride. We have grown into new people, with bigger hearts, and a capacity to achieve great things. We have come closer to arriving at our own Promised Land, whatever that may be for each of us. This week, we take those final steps to the life and world we have earned, deserve, and have been promised for so very long.
Our guidance from the Creator this week comes in the form of two portions of the Torah. This week we have a double portion called Matot-Masei. It can translate into “the tribe’s journey.” Today, even though we may not recognize it ourselves, we are the tribes of Israel. We are the great descendants of the people we read about each week, and our journey continues forward to this day. Like the Israelites, we continue onward through the voyage of life, continuing to learn and grow. We walk in the world, discovering how to become the beings of love and sharing that is our destiny. The task may seem simple, but even after thousands of years, we still find ourselves unable to even get along with our own neighbor. The journey is authentic, and the goal is not easy. However, Divinity is always there along the journey with us, guiding us, encouraging us, and making sure we eventually reach our destination. As we read of the journeys of the Israelites, we gain the energy we need to continue forward. There are 42 stops mentioned in Masei. This is a hint at the power this week available to us. The prayer of the kabbalists, known as the Ana Beko’ach, is comprised of 42 letters. These 42 letters are building blocks to the world and our lives. This week, we are given the energy to further bring control to our journey, guaranteeing we reach our destination. A destination of fulfillment, love, and peace. Each year of our lives, we travel through a cycle that brings us closer to our soul’s mission and purpose.
The story of Matot-Masei is our story. We continue along the road of life because the destination is worth it. As we walk forward every day, we learn that when we choose love, love comes back to us like a boomerang. We learn that it behooves us to act in ways of sharing and caring, for the more love we spread in the world, the better the world is for all of us. Achieving our dreams takes more than just hard work, it takes an inner transformation. As we travel, we are given opportunities to share, and to love our neighbors. We come to see that life is far sweeter, and the journey more enjoyable, when we choose to hold another’s hand instead of clenching fists with them. We enter a space of lasting fulfillment and peace, each time we choose to smile and extend our hearts out to our fellow humans. This week we are given that needed boost to complete the journey of life, to the home that is waiting for us.
In your meditation of the week, become the head of the tribe. Step into the shoes of the leader. For many of you who read this, you may be the only one in your family or circle of friends traveling on a spiritual path. In this way, you are a leader. You can lead by example, choosing the path of love and human dignity. You can demonstrate the real power that is found in love and kindness. See yourself this week, as the head of the tribe, guiding your soul, and the souls of others, towards the time when peace and love engulf the world. With renewed energy and optimism, you lead yourself and those you love, towards the life of our dreams.
"A life and world where love reigns supreme, goodness prevails, and pain and suffering are a thing of the past. This is the land we have been promised. It is the land worth the journey home."