Before setting off on a hike in the mountains of Montana, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner was unsettled by all the signs warning about bears. He peppered the National Park Service employee with questions about which trails might be bear-free. The employee pointed out that if it were bear-free, it would not be a wilderness. Over the course of the Book of Numbers, the Israelites encountered many trials in the wilderness. Now, this next generation of Israelites is ready to work together as a people.
The Book of Numbers concludes with a recounting of the journey of B’nai Yisrael since leaving Egypt and instructions for the subsequent occupation of the Promised Land. As Rabbi Grushcow concludes, the central theme of this narrative is relationship. Every journey is enriched through meaningful relationships, with people, with God, and with tradition.