The Travel Imperative

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” -Mark Twain

I like travelling. I like meeting new people and seeing new places. I like getting a different perspective of the world and widening my horizons. What I didn’t realize is that traveling apparently fulfills a spiritual requirement.

There is a Kabbalistic concept of “sparks” strewn about our planet. These sparks are everywhere and in order to fulfill our ultimate destiny, humanity must unlock and collect these sparks (whatever that means). To complicate matters further, there are sparks that can only be released by specific people at specific times in specific places.

The Ohr Hachayim (Numbers 10:35) explains that there are different levels of sparks and these sparks may require different amounts of time to access. For some sparks it’s just enough to pass by (reaching some realization?) while other sparks need a longer presence (affecting some change at the place?).

Whatever the task, there are some sparks that need to be dealt with on the road or outside of the house and we might as well enjoy this spiritual need and imperative to travel and interact with the wider world.

Shabbat Shalom,



To all of the people who have made our travels possible and memorable.

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and a candidate for the Knesset for the Zehut party. He is the author of three books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.