The Jewish people miraculously covered a three-days’ journey on the first day of their trek through the desert, for G‑d was anxious to bring them into the Land of Israel. But once the Jewish people were on their way, some of the former non-Jews who had accompanied them when they left Egypt and had converted to Judaism began to have second thoughts about submitting to G‑d’s laws. Seeking an excuse for their attitude, these recent converts complained about having to travel so far on the first day.
Rectifying Rebellions
וַיְהִי הָעָם כְּמִתְאֹנֲנִים וגו': (במדבר יא:א)
The people sought a pretext [to rebel against G‑d]. Numbers 11:1

To be sure, we should not allow ourselves to rebel (or even consider rebelling) against G‑d. If this requires us to “force” ourselves to acquire a second, Divine nature, so be it.

But the more profound way of quelling a rebellion against G‑d is by exposing its true nature: our refusal to be satisfied with our present understanding of G‑d and our revulsion at the shallowness of our present relationship with Him. Our rebellion articulates our despair: “If this is all there is to the Divine life, I want nothing of it!”

Seen in this positive light, our rebellions – and the rebellions of the Jewish people so soon after having set out on their journeys – are a desperate cry for sincere return to G‑d, for reestablishing our relationship with Him on a much deeper level than it ever was before.1