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Yesterday I read my favorite section of the Torah, two columns of Matot-Masei known as the Journeys. I like it because I love lists & the heart of this read is a long list, sans detail, of the places the Israelites camped in their 40 years wandering in the desert.

The pattern is: They traveled from XX and came to YY, and camped there. They traveled from YY and camped in ZZ. And so on. There's a festive melody for much of it, & as always, a few people can't help but sing along.

I love that the names evoke the places, the way they do in our histories both as a people and personally. We as a people traveled from the Old Country to the Lower East Side & made a foothold there; left the Lower East Side for Brooklyn then Long Island then the Upper West Side then back to the now-hipster LES.

In my personal journeys, I say, oh, Idiots' Point, Maine, & I remember that winter, the cold A-frame with its plastic curtains, the log cabin on the property, crossing the stream to Kathy & Peter's house, Pecos doing loud yoga breathing, & on & on.

We are a part of all that we have met, but it's only important if we sing it.
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