In Parshas Bhea’aloscha (9 :
15-23) the Torah informs us that all of the journey’s and all of the
encampments of Bnei Israel throughout the forty years in the desert were of
course determined by Hashem, but the way (seliack) for alerting our nation to
travel or to encamp was the cloud(s) of glory that surrounded them.

           The question is: what is the deeper
significance to us today of what this cloud symbolizes and why it specifically
was used out of all the myriads of possible “G.P.S’s – Guidance positioning
systems alerts” that Hashem could have used to guide and direct us? In other
words, Hashem could have designated many other ways to alert our fledgling
nation such as a prophet or Urim vi Tumim to tell them when to travel and when
to encamp, or that they would understand by the astrological signs in the
heavens when to travel or when to encamp, or Hashem could have sent a flock of
birds or animal to show up whenever it was time to move and then lead them to
their next encampment.

           Perhaps we can offer the following
suggestion. Unfortunately throughout history many forms if idol worship have
arisen, for example the worshiping gold and silver; the sun, the moon and the
stars; statues, stones and trees and even human beings have been worshiped as
gods with were  erroneous believed to
have independent powers.    Therefore perhaps specifically clouds were
chosen to guide us throughout the 40 year journey in the desert because clouds breaks
the illusion of what looks like it has substance and independent power. On the
one hand, clouds while floating in the air seem so big and powerful but when a
plane flies through them, their resistance is nil because they don’t have any
significant tangible existence. (Of course they can contain the  makings of a storm, thunder and lightning but
that is not of their own making but based on many outside weather condition
factors.) Therefore perhaps one of the reasons clouds were used to alert our
nation when to travel and when to encamp is because they would always been seen
as only a seliah from the Creator.

          Now let
us apply the above to our relationships between people. How so? Just as clouds
usually are beautiful in appearance, provide shade from the bright sunlight and
provides rain water which is essential for life, but can at times be the
seliach for bringing about stormy conditions, so also, Hashem, in His eternal
wisdom, can sometimes send us even close friends or relatives that stir up our
relationship like a thunderstorm. At such turbulent times let us always
remember that just as clouds are only messengers sent from on High, so also
confrontations with others are also sent to us for our benefit.           

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