Tale of Two Generations
Dor Hamidbar – the Generation of the Wilderness – is the term attached to our ancestors who spent forty years in the wilderness before reaching Eretz Yisrael.
This term has often been applied in our own times to the first generations involved in the development of the modern Jewish State of Israel.
As Jews throughout the world begin this Shabbat to read the Chumash called Bamidbar it is a time for reflection on this comparison of generations. A wilderness is not merely a geographical designation but can also serve as a description of an era of transition.
Many challenges have faced the current Dor Hamidbar just as many faced the original one. The big difference, however, is that our ancestors began their trek by receiving the Torah and successfully continued on their way, enjoying the leadership of the greatest of prophets.
As our own generation strives to finally come out of the wilderness into an era of peace and prosperity, it would be wise if we followed the model of our predecessors and allowed Torah and Torah leadership to lead us to our promised land.