“Happy is the man who finds refuge in You, whose mind is on the [pilgrim] highways.” – Psalms 84:6, JPS 1985 Tanach
To take refuge in G-d is something that can be done today, and has been done across the ages. To keep one’s mind on the roads leading to Jerusalem that were full of those who came to observe the holidays from outside of Jerusalem, today becomes partly an excursion to our glorious past, yet, also possible to envision as this occurs in the modern era, whether by foot, car, or bus. Or for those living overseas, by plane.
Additionally this latter part of the verse, concerning a focus on the pilgrimage may also be rendered as an ascent that led to perceiving G-d in their hearts. Thus, this path of the heart, that all may partake of, may lead to the fulfillment of a constant awareness of G-d, such that this acquisition may outwardly reflect the inner radiance that results from connecting to G-d, and following His moral law.
Truly, a refuge from the external forces of modernity, and widespread pseudo-morality in the world today, this path may sustain those who seek a higher moral ground in their lives. So, as we pass through the Valley of Thorns, may our efforts to meet these current challenges, blossom into a means to draw closer to G-d in our lives on a continual basis.
May we go from “strength to strength,” until we stand before the L-RD in Zion (derived from Psalms 84:8).