Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Thoughts on the end of Exodus
Question of the Day: At the end of Exodus (we finish reading it on the weekly Torah cycle this week), what happened when Moses finished the instructions of God for dedicating the Tabernacle?
Answer: Exodus 40:34-35 "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Adonai filled the Tabernacle. Moses was unable to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud resided there and the glory of Adonai filled the Tabernacle."
Do you recall, because I’ve spoken of this previously, that for every physical reality there is a greater spiritual reality? Isaiah tells us of his vision of that greater spiritual reality. Isaiah 6:1-4 "In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw Adonai sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Temple. Seraphim were standing above Him. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. One called out to another, and said: 'Holy, holy, holy, is Adonai-Tzva'ot! The whole earth is full of His glory.' Then the posts of the door trembled at the voice of those who called, and the House was filled with smoke."
This vision made Isaiah feel inadequate. Isaiah 6:5 "Then I said: 'Oy to me! For I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I am dwelling among a people of unclean lips.'" Why were there many seraphim and not just one? Because no "one" could see all of God’s holiness. Each one had his perspective. They had to call one to the other, "I see holiness over here." And then the other called back, "And I see holiness over here too." This is why God wants us to be in a community. We each have a perspective of God's holiness, but none of us is in the same place at the same time. God wants us to appreciate more of Him as a community together than we ever could appreciate individually apart.
One last word ... why should we be upset when someone has a different perspective of God than we do? The important thing is that we're all on the road to Jerusalem. Let's not accentuate divisions because we're not in the same spot along the journey. We're on the road by grace and by grace we will continue until He returns to bring us home. Shalom.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,