The recognition of the value of volunteers is underscored in this week’s parsha, Parshat Vayakhel. The text continues the description of the construction of the Mishkan, the sacred space where God will dwell amongst God’s people.
In their earliest months as a free people, the Israelites are wandering a vast, unmarked wilderness that is both physical and metaphorical. It is disorienting to be released into the vastness of a midbar from the constriction of Mitzrayim (“the narrows”).
This week in Parshat Tetzaveh, Aaron and his sons are given instructions for kindling the Golden Menorah in the ancient Tabernacle. Hidden in the details, yet in plain view, is an important concept: bring your best for God.
An essential purpose of Torah is to demonstrate to us that God is present everywhere; God is all-powerful and omnipresent.
The idea of creating a holy society by caring for others is repeated several times in this Torah portion. Each time reiterating the concept, that we are not supposed to ignore the suffering or hardship of our neighbors, instead we are instructed to help each other seeing the humanity in one another.
After two months of wandering, the Israelites arrive at Sinai and make camp. Moses speaks with God and receives the instructions, which God intended for Moses to repeat.
When we think of the parting of the waters, quite often we are drawn to artistic versions or cinematic portrayals. We always see the waters split into two – a pillar of water on the left, and one on the right – with the Israelites marching between. But Rabbi Eliezer imagined it differently
In the midst of the most frightening challenge that Moses has ever experienced, God is telling him, “I am right here. You think you are going to face Pharaoh, but instead, you’ll be coming toward Me the whole time.”
For many people, life is a search for the presence of God in their lives. For a person to know God is with him or her can give great comfort during times of loss and pain, as well as strength when decisions need to be made and the correct path to them is not clear.
We should be getting something out of our time, but momentous occasions, by their very nature, do not happen all the time. Are the rest of the times significant, too?