Before Passover, I take my children to the Judean Desert outside Jerusalem to look at Mount Nebo. From that height above Jericho Moses surveyed the Promised Land. I obtrusively place my children in the landscape given to the Children of Israel 3,000 years ago and prepare them for the Passover holiday by asking a simple math question:
How is it that in Nissan, the month of miracles, 600,000 Children of Israel left Egypt (Exodus 12: 37) and 3,000 years later on Passover in 1948, the eve of Israel’s independence, there were 600,000 Jews in Israel ?
We walk in the desert which inspires a sense of Mount Sinai and I tell them: The Children of Israel left Egypt rendering us a people; in order to get the Torah and come into our land. That is the meaning of Passover.
Looking at Mount Nebo, we read the last verse of the Torah, describing Moses looking over the Promised Land from Mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:12). The Torah concludes with the last word “Israel”, which is a Hebrew acronym meaning there are 600,000 letters in the Torah יש ששים ריבוא אותיות לתורה one for each of the children of Israel.
And they read the Torah and they are in the Land celebrating Passover along with more than 6,000,000 of the Children of Israel.