D’var Torah Pekudei, Mar. 8, 2019

In an anthology of Hasidic commentary called the Itture Torah, one scholar states that last verse of the Book of Exodus in this week’s parasha is a prophecy on the People of Israel’s future. Focusing in on in its final words “on all of their journeys” (Ex 40:38) the commentator writes that even in times of relative calm and acceptance for the Jewish people in a given place, Jews must know that this is a temporary situation, and that there will still be new journeys for our people. (Itture Torah Vol III, p. 300) Indeed, a group of us at Beth Hillel who are studying Jewish migration patterns throughout history have noted that most of Jewish history is a story of settlement, flight, and resettlement.  Even in the places where we have felt the safest and the best integrated into society, we have almost always had to leave and find a new home.  The Jewish sojourn in America since the 17th century has been an exception to that rule, and, God willing, it will always be.