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Mendy Kaminker

Have faith, will travel

It’s hot outside. Way too hot.

So here is an idea: let’s forget about going to Mars. Instead, humanity should devote itself to finding a way to create an air conditioner for the outdoors!

I am thinking about how our great-great-great grandparents traveled in the desert for forty years. Luckily for them, they didn’t have to worry about the weather. G-d sent miraculous clouds (“the clouds of glory“) to protect them from the searing sun.

The clouds were much more than just a massive outdoor AC. The Talmud and Midrash cite numerous miracles brought by the clouds, including cleaning the clothing, keeping them fresh, and smoothing the rocky desert roads to ensure an easy and safe trip for Jews.

OK, I am giving up my outdoor AC ideas, but I would love to have a way to skip the dry cleaners! Or, at the very least, a way to make our journey through life much smoother with a miracle that “flattens the valleys” and downturns in life.

A letter by the Rebbe from 1954 gave me a powerful viewpoint on the matter.

He discusses a biblical verse (found in this week’s Haftarah), where G-d lovingly recounted the Jews’ travel in the desert. G-d sees it as an act of love and ultimate trust.

“Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem… I remember to you the lovingkindness of your youth, the love of your (our) weddings, your following Me in the desert, in a land not sown…”

When the Jews left Egypt, they knew little about the travel plans. How long will it take? Where will they stay? How will they obtain the food and water they need to survive?

None of them knew the answers, yet they followed G-d to the desert. And this is something G-d will never forget.

The Rebbe writes:

“The Jews demonstrated their trust in G-d to the utmost degree, and they saw with their own eyes how G-d provided for all their needs.

“Just as well, our steadfast trust in G-d can bring about salvation for us all, individually and collectively, providing all that we need in both the physical and spiritual realms.”

To sum it up: have trust, will travel!

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of Chabad.org.
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