UPDATED JUNE 15 2014
When God spoke to Moses from the Ark, there were people standing right next to Moses who could not hear God’s voice. They lacked the ability to “amplify” the sound waves of God’s voice, and “translate” them. The reason we do not experience prophecy today is not because there is no prophecy, but because we lack prophets, people capable of amplifying God’s voice. While God continues to communicate in a myriad ways all the time, we are generally not geared to receive His messages.
When we seek to draw ourselves closer to God, we do it sometimes by removing ourselves from the material world and ascending and we also manifest the heavens here. We struggle to make space for God to be with us where we are.
Achieve great cleaving to God, joining your soul with heaven.
Its written in the Torah :
““you shall be holy” (Leviticus 21)
We must “be holy” in monetary matters, commerce and business. It deals with interpersonal behavior and challenges, with getting along with others in all things. The home, the marketplace, the Temple, the dinner table and the kitchen are all the places of holiness. Holiness is not just for when one is praying and ritual matters. One who restricts “holiness” to specified places, does holiness a great disservice. All life is all-encompassing of the entire Torah. Life should not be thrown together, formless and disorganized, unconnected and even unfocused, but full of the essential wholeness and unity of holiness. Torah, holiness can convert what appears to be mundane to Holy. Know God in all your ways………
Using the metaphor of the the Tabernacle – itself, where the entire structure is holy, but the innermost sanctum is considered the “Holy of Holies,” Thus should be your life. embody the holiness of the inner sanctuary all ways.
The Israelites spent forty years wandering — forty, a number that implies completion and purity. Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai, there is a minimum measure of 40 saeh (measure) water in a Mikvah (ritual bath). Forty was the number of fruition. During these forty years of growth, the Israelites carried the Tabernacle with them according to these instructions.
The Torah tells us, Aaron and his sons would take down the screening curtain and cover the Ark with it. They would cover that with leather, and then with a cloth of pure blue. The table and its accoutrements — bowls, ladles, jars, tongs and fire-pans, libation jugs — would be wrapped in cloths of blue, violet, and crimson, and then in tahash, a yellow-orange leather of a unique animal. Everything precious in the sanctuary, in fact, was wrapped first in cloth and then in skin, and loaded onto a set of carrying poles for easy transport.
Many of us spend our lives wandering, too, or at least move a few times from here to there. We can cross these physical distances with ease, but the emotional journey of relocation shapes us even so. But physical movement is only one part of the picture. Even for those who don’t move physically, life is inherently a form of travel. Our perspectives change as we grow and mature, as we come to see our old surroundings in a new light.
In the Israelites’ journey through that wild desert we can see a metaphor for our own transformation. Our lives, like the desert, can be both harsh and beautiful. We don’t always know where we’re going, nor how long it will take us to get there. And sometimes the voice of God is most audible when we create our own holy spaces, and when we make a practice of pausing in those spaces, surrounded by but separate from the hubbub of ordinary life. The Tabernacle provided a doorway, a conduit through which our conversation with God could flow. It allowed us to sanctify the passage of time, to repent for our misdeeds, to show our gratitude to the Source of All. These are vitally important to our spiritual wellbeing, both as individuals and as a community. This week’s Torah portion reminds us that when we pack up to leave a place — whether physically or metaphysically — we must be sure to bring our relationship with God to wherever we are going.
After the destruction of the First Temple, the Greek philosopher, Plato, saw Jeramiyah the prophet weeping bitterly. Plato asked him why he was crying over the destruction of something as material as a mere building.
Instead of responding to his question, Jeramiyah answered, “Ask me what is perplexing you.”
Plato asked him several complex questions. Yermiyahu solved them all. Plato was dumbfounded, “I can’t believe that a human being could be so wise!”
Yermiyahu pointed to the ruins and said, “I derived all my wisdom from that ‘mere building.’ And that is why I am crying.” The Holy Temple was much more than a structure. It was the source of all wisdom.
In the days of the Tabernacle we would cover that with leather, and then with a cloth of pure blue. The table and its accoutrements, may the temple be rebuilt speedily in our days. Today we wrap our selves in our Talit (prayer shawl), Teffillin (talisman) and meditate.
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