You transform the wilderness into a pool of water, And sere soil into springs of water.
And there You grant housing to the hungry, And they establish a city for habitation.
They sow fields and plant vineyards
And produce a fruitful yield.”
This week, we begin the book of Numbers, known in a Hebrew as Bamidbar which translates to “in the wilderness.”
The Israelites have escaped Egypt and are trekking along on their journey through the wilderness. At first, it was jarring, exciting, full of adventure and finding order. But now, in our fourth book of the Torah, we find ourselves deep in the wilderness.
Rabbi Shefa Gold describes the wilderness and our experience with it in the most profound and honest way:
The harsh inner reality of the wilderness purifies whatever traces of enslavement we still carry. This wilderness is the midwife of our new life, after long and hard labor. The wilderness forces us to face the resistance, ambivalence and self-delusion that has kept us from whole-heartedly receiving our birthright: the promised flow of milk and honey that is given to us, and through us, with each moment of life. The wilderness will scare out all our old ghosts and send them forth from the shadows into the full light of awareness.In the wilderness, we are stripped of disguises. Defenses fall away. Each part within us is forced to show its true face.
There is beauty in wilderness. There are also challenges and old triggers. In the wilderness, we wander, humbled. But we never lose sight of the land flowing with milk and honey.
Don’t forget, you’re not alone in the wilderness.
I love you!