These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Pekudei and Time to Go Forward

Posted on March 1, 2014 by Emet Ozar

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I shared these parting words at community lunch on Thursday,
and Jess posted them to her blog:

emeozaIn this week’s parsha, Pekudei, Moshe and the Israelites are continuing to work hard to complete the Mishkan according to Gd’s specifications. At the end of the parsha, the very last chapter of the book of Shemot, the excitement of the completion is palpable:

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לד. וַיְכַס הֶעָנָן אֶת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּכְבוֹד יְהֹוָה מָלֵא אֶת הַמִּשְׁכָּן:34. And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan.
לה. וְלֹא יָכֹל משֶׁה לָבוֹא אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד כִּי שָׁכַן עָלָיו הֶעָנָן וּכְבוֹד יְהֹוָה מָלֵא אֶת הַמִּשְׁכָּן:35. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan.
לו. וּבְהֵעָלוֹת הֶעָנָן מֵעַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן יִסְעוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכֹל מַסְעֵיהֶם:36. When the cloud rose up from over the Mishkan, the children of Israel set out in all their journeys.

You can only imagine this moment of awe, wonder, and joy after the people’s coming together as one to build a dwelling for Gd. They are leaving the place they had settled and become accustomed to. They are finally ready to continue forth into the desert, with their trust in Gd and Moshe. They know that whatever they happen upon, they are prepared for it.

Right now, the cloud in our life is rising, letting us know that it’s time for us to travel on our way, to continue on our journey. It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of building a space with everyone at Pardes, where we are all striving to know Gd, each in our way.

Just as Moshe blessed the people after the completion of the work in the parsha, may we bless everyone that when you recognize that the cloud in your life is rising, may you be just as full of excitement, joy, wonder, and gratitude as we are right now.