B’Haalosecha: May It Be His Will

“By the word of Hashem the children of Israel journeyed, and by the word of Hashem they encamped… By the word of Hashem they encamped, and by the word of Hashem they journeyed.” (Numbers 9:18, 20)

What lesson does the Torah convey by reversing the order of this phrase between these two verses? In the first verse, the Children of Israel “journey” and “encamp” by the word of God, and two verses later they “encamp” and then “journey” by the word of God. Why the repetition and reversal?

The holy Shla”h, in his commentary to this section, draws from here the idea that no matter what activity one undertakes, whether one is “coming” or “going,” one should frame the activity “by the word of God,” that is, by expressing that one’s success depends upon God’s will. Therefore, one should frame one’s statements of intent with the words, “God willing,” or, “with God’s help.” For example: “I intend to travel to such-and-such a place, with God’s help, and to return, God willing, at such-and-such a time.”

Keeping our activities framed “by the word of God” in this way will keep our intentions, words and actions wholesome and positive and lead us upward in fulfilling our potential for greatness.

Based on Shla”h, Parshas B’Haalosecha

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