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(5731) The reason that the siyum of Shmot (Ex 40:38) "Which on it Yisroel went from darkness to light" (Ber. Rabbah 3:5) - was "in all their journeys" ;

According to Rashi that "Because from the place of encampment they again journeyed, therefore, they are called journeys."

The reason that also the encampments of Bnei Yisroel have an advantage over the journeys. And also in Golus and Geulah  


The book of Shmos concludes with the words “in all their journeys.” The theme of the book is the story of how, as the Midrash says:1 “the Jewish people departed from darkness to light.” It stands to reason that the theme of Shmos should find expression in the words “in all their journeys,” inasmuch as “everything follows the conclusion.”2 What connection is there between “in all their journeys,” and “departing from darkness to light”?

The above-quoted Midrash must also be understood: Shmos begins by relating how the Jews entered Egypt, not how they left it. Why then does the Midrash describe the book as one whose theme is “departing from darkness to light”?

The simple meaning of “in all their journeys” refers not to the actual journeys, but to the encampments between journeys.3 The term journey is used, explains Rashi,4 “because they repeatedly journeyed on from their resting places.”

This, too, must be understood: The Gemara5 says that every stop made by the Jews in the desert was considered the final one, since it was G‑d who commanded them to stop. This being so, how is it possible to consider these stops as part of their journey?

We must perforce say that the stops are called journeys because each one — serving as it did as a stepping stone to the journey that followed — possessed not only permanence but also foreshadowed the future journey. Since each stop facilitated the ensuing journey, therefore in an internal and concealed manner the stops themselves became part of that journey.

The Alter Rebbe explains the verse6 “These are the journeys of the Jewish people who left Egypt…” in the following manner:7 Although physically the Jews left Egypt by dint of their first journey from Ramses to Sukkos, the plural “journeys” is used by Scripture to indicate that as long as the Jews had not yet reached the Promised Land they were still “in Egypt” — the word Egypt being etymologically related to “straits and limitations.” Thus, every journey on the way to the Promised Land was a “journey from Egypt.”

We can now understand that the difference between the “journeys” and the “stops” was the difference between exile and liberation; While the Jews were actually coming closer to Eretz Yisrael they were in the process of leaving Egypt — liberation; while they encamped, their journey to the Promised Land was “put on hold” — a partial return to the state of exile.

Still and all, the verse also deems the “stops” to be part of the “journeys,” for the whole purpose of exile is the subsequent revelation of redemption.

The use of the phrase “in all their journeys” to describe the stops thus makes it clear that as even as the Jewish people began their descent into Egypt — described in the opening of Shmos — they were beginning their liberation from exile.

The whole book then is one of “departing from darkness into light.”
Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. VI pp. 235-239.

1.  Bereishis Rabbah 3:5.
2.  Berachos 12a.
3.  See Shmos 40:35.
4.  Ibid. verse 38.
5.  Eruvin 55b.
6.  Bamidbar 33:1.
7.  Likkutei Torah, Masei 88c and onward.








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