Retracing our steps


The Torah portion that we read this week begins the process of reviewing the story of the Israelites, everything that has brought them to this point.  This process continues in the book of Deuteronomy, which the ancient rabbis called Mishneh Torah – “A repetition of the Torah” – and is elaborated and expanded on in the rabbinic literature of Midrash (“Interpretation”), which we continue to this day.  Jewish traditions affirm that reviewing our story again and again can bring us greater and greater insight into where we have come from, who we are now, and what values should inform our future.  This is true both for our joint story and for the individual stories of our lives.  May looking back and retracing our steps always give us the understanding we to look forward with greater clarity and strength for the future.