Come On, It’s a Play On Words!By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
The parsha starts by recapping the Jews’ travels in the desert. They left Egypt led by Moshe and Aharon and they camped when and where G-d said.
They left Ramses (in Egypt) on the 15th day of the month of Nisan and camped in a place called Succos. (So, G-d caused the Jews to dwell in “succos” in more ways than one! See Leviticus 23:43 if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) They made several more stops until they reached Baal Tz’fon, a few more until the Red Sea and a few more before Marah. (I’m just mentioning some of the more familiar place names.)
After Marah, they went to Elim, then back to the Red Sea. (For the record, the first half of the previous sentence is the last verse of the first aliyah; the second half is the first verse of the second aliyah.)