The desert

photo by Jule Berlin

And the Lord spoke to Moses in the desert…

The desert is the setting for the fourth book of the Torah, which we will begin to read this Sabbath. What is the meaning of this setting?

This is the sort of question that we can all ask ourselves without feeling the need to rely on Biblical scholars or other authorities. It’s enough to know that this is where God spoke to Moses and where He gave the Torah to the Jewish people. Then we can ask ourselves why the desert is the right place for that to happen.

For myself, at least part of the answer is that the desert is a place of no distractions. Today perhaps we can take our electronic distractions anywhere, but essentially the monotony and stillness of the desert invite us to listen inward. When we put aside the busy-ness of our lives, when we stop making plans and solving problems, when we drop our neurotic needs, when we step out of the protection of our homes and routine – what voice do we hear?

Entering a logotherapy session can be an opportunity to step out of the hullabaloo of one’s life and take a quiet look and listen. Sort of like going on a desert retreat.

What does the desert mean to you, and what voice do you hear there?
(Submitted by Aryeh Siegel)

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