The Glory of the LORD
Here in Winnipeg, on this first full day of spring, with the temperature at -19 degrees, we begin the day, together with most of the world, inside our home by decree of our Governments.
In Israel, politicians' egos seem to be causing a rather incredible delay in forming a government even after the people's voting indicated clearly that they wanted a solid right wing government.
Every MK, to enter his/her Knesset workplace, passes by the large Menorah; the Menorah is the part of the Temple furnishings that symbolizes God's LIGHT and the unity of the Nation.
Today's Torah reading is a combination of two passages, Vayakhel, "assembled", and Pekudei, "reckonings", Exodus 35:1 to the end of Exodus.
It concludes with the Tabernacle, all of its furnishings and utensils carefully built "as the LORD had commanded Moses". This phrase is repeated 19 times in the passage; 18 is the number of LIFE, plus 1 which represents God as we see in the Shema:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6)
It seems to me, that for Israel, and for all of us of course, the number 19 suggests that our LIFE is in God the LORD/HASHEM.
Our Torah Portion concludes with the Tabernacle completed, inspected by Moses and assembled in the 1st month of the 2nd year of Israel's freedom from Egypt.
When Moses has "completed the work":
"Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." (Exodus 40)
The Glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle in such an intense way that Moses, who had spent 40 days and nights on the Mountain in the Presence of God, could not enter!
This Presence determined when and where Israel should move and when Israel should remain in its place.
We are PRAYING that Israel will again stand in the place where their every movement is called for by their God, the Creator of the Universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel; not by the whims of politicians.
Perhaps, the purpose of the Corona virus to bring the whole world to a place of single focus so that as a world community we will finally realize that we are nothing if our LIFE is not in this God!
HE IS SOVEREIGN
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