1. Today is Wednesday of the week when the two parshiyos, Matos and Masei are read. The connection between the two parshiyos receives greater emphasis on this day because the portion of Chumash studied today (the fourth aliyah) fuses together the conclusion of Parshas Matos and the beginning of Parshas Masei.

This Torah portion describes the preparations for the entry into Eretz Yisrael and the conquest of the land. This includes not only the land of the seven nations which lived on the west side of the Jordan, but also the three nations (the Keni, Knizi, and Kadmoni) whose territory began on the eastern bank of the Jordan. As explained previously,1 the tribes of Reuven and Gad desired to settle in these lands to fulfill G‑d’s promise to grant Avraham the lands of ten nations.

After describing the dialogue between Moshe and these two tribes at the conclusion of Parshas Matos, Parshas Masei begins with the statement, “These are the journeys of the children of Israel who left the land of Egypt.” In Likkutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe asks: After the first journey, the Jews had left the land of Egypt. Why does the Torah connect all 42 journeys to the departure from Egypt?

The Alter Rebbe explains that the ultimate purpose of all the journeys was to leave Egypt, i.e., to transcend one’s boundaries and limitations.2 Conversely, the departure from Egypt includes all the 42 journeys, because, ideally, directly after the Jews left Egypt, they were to enter Eretz Yisrael. They would have taken possession of the entire land, the land belonging to all ten nations.

The Torah is eternal, containing lessons applicable at every time and in every place. Surely, the above is applicable at present, in these last days directly before Mashiach’s coming. We, like the Jews described in the Torah, must be prepared to enter Eretz Yisrael. Indeed, preparation is not sufficient. As long as a Jew has not entered Eretz Yisrael, even if he is standing at the banks of the Jordan, opposite Jericho, he is still in exile, and must await the final journey which will take him out of Egypt.

Now, this very moment, is the time when we must conclude the exile entirely and begin the Messianic redemption. Each individual must begin this process by making an increase in Torah and mitzvos. The Tanya explains how Torah and mitzvos represent a redemption on the individual level. These individual redemptions will lead to the redemption of the people as a whole. Then, we will proceed to Eretz Yisrael and witness how “kingship will be the L‑rd’s.”

This will be hastened by gifts to tzedakah which “brings close the redemption.” Therefore, we will conclude this gathering by distributing money to be given to tzedakah.3

The above receives greater significance at the present time. Tammuz is the tenth month of the year and “the tenth shall be holy.” Similarly, we are entering the 26th day of Tammuz and 26 is numerically equivalent to the name Y-H-V-H. This leads to the 27th of Tammuz, זך (“pure”) in Hebrew numerology. This will lead to the kindling of the Menorah4 in the Beis HaMikdash with pure oil. May it be in the immediate future.