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Dvar for Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:17)

After nearly a full year after the Jews arrived at Mount Sinai, the cloud rises from the Mishkan (tabernacle), signaling their impending departure, and travels three days ahead of them to find their next resting place (10:33). The Jews immediately start complaining about the journey and all else not going their way. What happened that suddenly made them seem like malcontents?

The Maharsha explains that the Jews’ three days without Torah caused them to lose their perspective. This concept is the source for reading the Torah every Monday and Thursday to avoid accruing three days without exposure to Torah. This idea also highlights the importance of consistency, such that when we develop good habits, we should reinforce them consistently and not allow ourselves to lose the momentum we’ve built.