Much of the expansion of the ‘new world’ became possible thanks to brave settlers, who were often also Bible followers: pilgrims, missionaries, merchants, teachers, and people who were striving for new life in unexplored lands. Their faith had led them to name new settlements after biblical locations, mostly from the Holy Land.
The arrival into new places for the purpose of settling was always coupled with long and exhausting journeys. This kind of journey is called in Hebrew ‘ma•sa.’ The ‘ma•sa’ is traveling mostly by foot.
Our masa through these places won’t be of this kind for the time being, but you can turn it into such on your next tour in Israel. Perhaps, you’ll find some of these places worth a little ‘masa,’ while you are in the Holy Land.
It’s interesting that the root verb of ‘masa,’ which is biblical, is ‘NASA,’ which means to travel. This verb is the common word today for travel – but only by Planes, Trains and Automobiles! The noun ‘masa,’ though, is still restricted to travel by foot!
Masa is the word that we find in the Bible for the generation-long journey of the Israelites out of Egypt to the promised land:
“These are the journeys of the people of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron”