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Dvar for Matot-Maasei (Numbers 30:2-36:13)

The Torah recounts the 42 journeys that took the Jews from Egypt to the banks of the Jordan river (33:3-49). What is the importance of us knowing the places where they traveled?

Malbim and Shvilei Pinchas suggest that the 42 places of travel correspond to the 42 letters of G-d’s actual name. The significance is that although the people had a choice of where to travel next, any choices were covered within the purview of G-d’s protection. The same is true for us today: So long as we stay within the framework of G-d’s prescribed code (Torah rules), we have the dual benefit of having choices within our lives and the assurance that G-d is protecting our best interests.