Until modern times, travel was viewed as something best avoided. It was slow, uncomfortable, and often quite dangerous. Our rabbis even instituted a special prayer (Brachot 29b-30a) to be said when one has to travel.
When studying Torah we must study not only its content, but also its form; not just what the Torah says, but also how it says it. Proper study requires that we analyze, as best we can, the editorial decisions of the Divine author of the Torah.
A legal brief and a good story are two very different forms of writing. We have even coined a term, legalese, to describe the distinct writing style employed by many a lawyer. The departments of law and that of literature have little to do with each other.
In studying the biblical text it is crucial to pay attention not only to the meaning of the text but to its form and structure; not just to what the Torah says, but how it says it. This basic principle allows us to derive much Jewish law from the juxtaposition of seemingly unconnected laws.
What is the role of a Rabbi? When this question was asked to Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein, author of the monumental code of law the Aruch Hashulchan, he responded that it is to issue rulings on Jewish law. Such is what one might expect coming from a world class posek, decisor of Jewish law.
For the religion that first brought the message of ethical monotheism to the world, Judaism sure does its best to have us lead much of our daily lives as if there were no G-d, strange and heretical as this may sound.