Today we read about how the Israelites journeyed. The way the Torah sees it, they were marching at the command of God.
Each time they moved, a cloud would cover the מוֹעֵ֑ד אֹ֣הֶל (Ohel Moed — Dwelling, or Tent of Meeting). The cloud would look like a cloud during the day and like fire all night, after sunset.
If the cloud lifted, the Children of Israel would pick up and march. If the cloud came back, the Children of Israel would make camp. They would just stay camped whenever there was a cloud. Perhaps, they washed their laundry…rested their animals…visited with their neighbors. That would make sense. After all, you don’t want to be marching all the time, day after day.
Now it seems that a big cloud over the Ohel Moed wasn’t enough, because God told Moses to make two silver trumpets. The priests would blow on them, and that would signal when people were supposed to start marching. The trumpets were also for blowing when the Children of Israel went into battle, at the New Moon and on holidays. How thrilling those trumpets must have sounded!
Food for Thought
Would you like to have marched with Moses across the Wilderness?