Parshat Beshalach: Exodus 13:17 – “Now when Pharaoh sent away the people, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, “The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.”
The Talmud teaches (Sotah 46b): [R. Joshua b. Levi said:] “One who is traveling on the path without an escort (leveayah) should engage in Torah . . . (Prov. 1:9)].” Etz chayim hi lamachazikim ba. She is a tree of life to all who hold fast to her. When we walk along the way, it is important to have an escort, friends, a holy community. This community need not be near, but it must be close to our hearts.
May we be blessed to be wise and caring escorts for each other as we travel through the wilderness.