In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov.3;6 ב”ה
Vayakhel/Pekudei: Accounting, Assembling and Rebuilding Together 5777
The month of Nissan — in the spring, time of rebirth — has always and will always be a time of redemption for us. As we now conclude our study of the second book of the Torah, the “Book of Names” Shemot, Exodus, the Torah focuses our minds on the redemptive quality of the month of Nissan. This is signified by the fact that it was on 1st Nissan that the Shechinah came to dwell among the Children of Israel with the inauguration of the Sanctuary. The book of Exodus started in a state of exile: “These are the names of the Children of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his house.” (Ex. 1:1). After their grueling servitude followed by the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians, the light of redemption truly began to shine on the 1st of Nissan: “And G-d spoke to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: This month is for you the first of the months.” (Exodus 12:1-2). After narrating the drama of leaving Egypt, the Splitting of the Sea, the Giving of the Torah and the loss of innocence with the sin of the calf, Exodus concludes with the structure of the World of Repair as exemplified in the form of the Sanctuary.
Monday evening at sundown with the siting of the moon will begin the new month, Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Sh’mot 12; 1Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. – Then there is about 2 weeks until Pesach begins. Now is an excellent time to be tuning in to the season of redemption!
This weekend will conclude our journey in the book of Exodus on the Torah cycle with the parashiot of Vayakehl וַיַּקְהֵל (“and he assembled”) and Pekudei פְקוּדֵי “accounting of”. Vayahkel begins as follows:
Sh’mot 35;1 Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do:
#6950 (v) Kahal קָהַל – to call together, to assemble. To be called together, to assemble selves.
- Sh’mot 32;1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Fascinating. These are the only 2 occurrences of Kahal in sefer Sh’mot. First is when the people are assembling to approach Aaron to make the egel, and last when Moshe assembles them together again…what is the first thing he speaks to them about? (must be important.)
#6951 (Masc.N) kahel קָהֵל -congregation, assembly, THE congregation. (This word corresponds to Ekklesia in the Apostolic scriptures. “The Church”. )
- B’reshit 28;3 “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” (The blessing Yitsach gives Ya’acov when he knows Ya’acov is Ya’acov.)
- B’midbar15:15 ‘As for the assembly, there shall be one statute חֻקָּה for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute חֻקָּה throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD.16 ‘There is to be one law תֹּורָה and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”
- Devarim 10;4 “He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments הַדְּבָרִים which the LORD had spoken דִּבֶּר to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.
#6952 (Fem. N) Kehillah קְהִלָּה – assembly. (Found only here in Torah. Only once more in Neh. 5;7)
תֹּורָ֥ה צִוָּה־לָ֖נוּ מֹשֶׁ֑ה מֹורָשָׁ֖ה קְהִלַּ֥ת יַעֲקֹֽב
Devarim 33:4 “Moses charged us with a Torah, A possession for the assembly of Jacob.
#6953 (Masc. n) Kohelet קֹהֶלֶת – Proper name of Shlomo Ha Melech mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastes. Can mean ‘preacher’, one who addresses a public assembly and discourses of human affairs. “collector of proverbs” (assembling people to hear, assembler of words)
#6955 (proper Masc. N) K’hat (Kohath) קְהָת –
#6956 (adj) K’hati (Koathite) קְהָתִי –
[Side note: There are three families of Levi’im. Gershom, Merari and Kohath. Moshe, Aaron and his sons are from Kohath. Bemidbar 7:9 But he did not give any (carts for carrying the vessels) to the sons of Kohath because theirs was the service of the holy objects, which they carried on the shoulder. * Could this in part explain why Uzzah was struck down, the Kohathites were meant to CARRY the Ark along with the other sacred vessels “on the shoulder”, there should not have been a cart to begin with! 2 Shmuel 6;3They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. 4 So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. 5 Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.6 But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. 7 And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God….it could also be noted that Uzzah was not of the tribe of Levi, if this was a descendant of Saul he would be a Benjaminite- 1Chronicles 9:39 “And Ner fathered Kish. And Kish fathered Saul. And Saul fathered Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal”.]
So, Moshe calls the ‘Church’ together and says, “these are the things” God has tsavah (root of Mitzvah) commanded you to do…and he begins to expound about the Sabbath (again.)
Sh’mot 35; 2 “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.“You shall not kindle תְבַעֲרוּ a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.
The text then states in verse 4 : Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying…
and goes on to the Mishkan laws once again. It does seem clear there is a focus put on those Sabbath verses, they are ‘separate’ from what follows (but deeply connected).
# 1197 (denomative v) ba’ar בָּעַר- to burn up, to kindle, to be brutish, to de-pasture, remove, take away, exterminate.
The mountain burned, the anger of the Lord burned, the priests kept the fire on the altar burning, and many other times using this term in reference to “purging” evil from the midst of the people.
We need to realize this fire is not one which was meant for warmth, or even necessary food preparation (although the Manna was perfect as it was and needed no manipulation). This would be a fire which would require a ‘man to leave his place’ on the Sabbath, for he hadn’t prepared in advance. His heart had not been Sabbath (eternity) minded during his six days of labor, and that which he strove for during the work week was not centered around God or looking forward to anything- certainly not God’s appointment for him. He didn’t prepare, he was not sabbath minded…he didn’t think of his family’s comfort or orchestrate an atmosphere conducive to the Shalom (communion with Hashem toward grasping completeness) for his household -or community, for each house is effected by the others around them. We read later about the death penalty enforced (after inquiry with Hashem and ‘fair trial’) for a man who ‘gathered sticks’ on the Sabbath. Know this is a fire of rebellion, high handedness, willful transgression. Remember the difference between Malachah- work (personal, monetary gain, accomplishing the self’s desires) and Avodah- divine service (the attendance of the Kohanim in the Mishkan, etc.) All the Malachah of the people at this time was dependent upon ‘fire’. Furthermore, we suggested last week, the concept of keeping track of time and God’s schedule has to do directly with keeping the Sabbath. We asked, could the people have lost track of “time” because of their lack of Sabbath Sanctity…which led to the chet ha egel AND which directly involved kindling fire, making “molten” gold and the calf which came forth from the fire!
The Exodus was at Pesach – Nissan 14
The arrival and revelation of Sinai is 50 days from then during Shavuot- Sivan 6
It was on the 17th of Tammuz that the first set of Tablets were shattered (this is the date on the Jewish calendar which is now a fast day).
The 18th of Tammuz the calf is burned – Trial by bitter water.
The 19th Moshe ascends Sinai again.
40 eve/morning to Elul 1, this month is the period of repentance and reconciliation with God. This is the time when Moshe sought to “rekindle the love” between am Yisrael and Hashem.
40 eve/morning to Tishrei 10 which is Yom Kippur.
It is on Yom Kippur that the people are given the second set of tablets, Israel is reconciled with God. “eating, drinking, rising up to sport” with the calf that was made with fire, Yom Kippur is a Tikun for the behavior at the foot of the mountain, and is a day on which one does not eat, drink or engage in sexual activity.
Shavuot- Matan Torah- is the day the Torah was GIVEN.
It was not until Yom Kippur, the 2nd set of tablets, post gel, that the Torah was ACCEPTED.
The people needed a complete reorientation. What of all the laws and gifts and insight and directives given does Moshe START with? Shabbat. 6 Days you shall work, 6 days the heaven and the earth were finished in all their array, on the 7th you shall rest, on the 7th God rested. God is the Creator. This needs to be re-established on the most elemental level after the chet ha egel. And YES when we continue to keep the B’rit Owlam (ETERNAL covenant) of the seventh day Sabbath we are and ED witness, making testimony that there is a Creator who created in 6 days and made the 7th day Holy. (Keeping Shabbat, the commandment is to Shamar- to guard Shabbat, means we are telling the Truth about the Creator and declaring through our rest that we desire His will and delight in our participation in it.)
#2803 (v) chashav חָשַׁב – to think, calculate, reckon, meditate, compute, to plot, to make account of.
#4284 (Fem.N) מַחֲשָׁבָה Machashavah– that which anyone meditates, purposes or plots. A counsel, a project. Artificial work.
- B’reshit 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
- Sh’mot 31:4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
- Sh’mot 35:32 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work ….35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
Intentional Labors- Machashavah is found in Torah only in the contexts above. This is another example of how the Hebrew context and in this case, rare, rate of occurrence can teach us something. What was it that God once declared as corrupt (the same word found in the egel context- “your people have corrupted themselves”) to the point of bringing forth the flood, wiping out a generation and establishing His ‘great nation’ with one man- Noach נח? It is the ‘thoughts’, the designs, the intentions of the heart of that generation that was completely corrupt. The fact that there is a shift and once the ‘work’ for the garments, vessels, all the elements of the Mishkan of God’s design, is commanded and undertaken….NOW man’s designs truly find their rectification. Now, and there…the relationship between God and Adam (man) can be repaired, love rekindled, relationship developed, closeness increased. This is indeed also a picture of Shabbat. A Tabernacle in the realm of Time, of God’s specified and detailed design, where man can make an intentional decision to draw close to Hashem on His own terms. The problem with man is we tend to appoint ourselves as the judge of what is righteous and good, for ourselves, for others… when deigning to consider taking up the charge (mishmeret) to guard (shamar) Shabbat, a Tabernacle in Time of God’s design perhaps, begin with ceasing from one intentional labor in His Name, for the sake of His Holy Will.
When we observe the Shabbos FOR G-D, abstaining from forbidden labors because that is His command, this gives the intentional labors that we perform on the other six days of the week in pursuit of our livelihood and all our other needs the sanctity of BUILDING THE SANCTUARY. Our intention in pursuing all these needs is that we may serve G-d, pray and keep the commandments. Our going about our daily lives in our homes, at work and elsewhere is all part of BUILDING THE TEMPLE, a dwelling place for G-d’s presence. For each one of us has our own contribution to make to the construction of this Temple. Each person’s mitzvah and good intention help to draw G-d’s Indwelling Presence into this world and within the sanctity of our homes. – Rabbi Greenbaum
#6485 (masc plural abstract n./verb) pakad פָּקַד – to go,to visit,to review, to number, to look to, to miss, to find wanting, to charge, to muster, to punish, to commit.
- Sh’mot 38:21 “This is the number of the things for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were numbered according to the command of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
Outside, the Mishkan was not very beautiful, there were ‘simple’ elements and solid colors. The covering of the Mishkan was animal skins. But, inside it was beautiful! The Mishkan is like a person. We too may not very attractive outside but no one can know what we look like inside. We are a portable ‘home’ for Hashem to dwell and be ‘evident’ in the world. Like Moshe took a detailed account. We too should take a careful account of what is inside. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks….. what is inside will be (should be) evident on the exterior. Everything we think, say and do should be rendered as “before the Face of Hashem”. Only when we realize before Whom we stand, and learn an internal fear (reverence) for Him will we be able to make a “righteous” accounting of ourselves. Before the Throne, before our families, before our peers. This is how Godly relations are formed and maintained. Pakad, the base word for Pekudei can be translated as “reckoning”. Bezrat Hashem, with God’s help and blessing, we will render account and be reckoned as a Faithful Servant in His sight.
- the action or process of calculating or estimating something.
- a person’s view, opinion, or judgment.
- a bill or account, or its settlement. synonyms: calculation, estimation, count, computation, working out, summation, addition, opinion, view, evaluation,
- the avenging or punishing of past mistakes or misdeeds. synonyms: retribution, fate, doom, nemesis, punishment
B’reshit 15; 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Matthew 25; 23 His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!’
Romans 2;1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
When it gets down to it, it really does matter what we do. Our deeds matter. What we do in this life is ALL we have to be judged upon after death. When we have lived for Hashem and died in/with Yeshua we can look forward to that judgment for we will be familiar (Yada-know) the nature of our Judge and be at rest in His scales. This concept of DOING, of ACTING is vital. (Disclaimer: I believe no deed is salvific, nothing we can do will ‘earn’ salvation. But, if God didn’t desire our activity why would prayer matter? What difference would teshuvah- repentance make? Why would Yeshua put an emphasis on His deeds on earth as WHAT to believe: John 10; 37 If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me. 38 But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works themselves, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” We have been going through this journey in Sh’mot together, looking deeply into the “purpose” for the Egyptian exile. Remember the plagues and what they were meant to show His people. Coming through Mitsrayim was for the point of experiencing Revelation at Sinai. At Sinai we studied how very MUCH we were given, gifted. We realize that these words-teachings-laws become moral imperatives once we have experienced trials and struggles because we can value their institution and compassionate with their inception and our purposes. Understanding from the heart and application with the spirit requires active participation and this is a wonderful skill which takes a lifetime to ‘accomplish’ and will never be complete until we are at One with their “fulfiller”. Then at once we will understand the full meaning of our practice here on earth. Our activity is a huge part of our Faith. For the people we understand that when their worship became corrupt, when their will and desire CENTRAL, their perversion of “time” setting dates and miscalculation at the foot of the mountain of God…wrought their destruction- we can take a closer look at what “happened”. Then we can look very deeply into the scripture itself to find out what ACT and attitude WITHIN that act…shifted God’s wrath, appealed to God’s heart, and “changed” God’s judgment against them. Beirut Hashem we will do this now, using a new “tool” for studying the Hebrew bible.
Bezrat Hashem, I will go over the basics of chaism’s with you. A chaism is a structure in which the text of scripture mirrors itself and elements in the text relate to one another and converge on a central verse, phrase or word which will highlight the core (meaning) of the entire context. These patterns can be found throughout scripture and can range from within a single verse out to numerous chapters of text. The structure is known as an ATBASH, in Hebrew אתבש. Aleph- element Aleph will correspond to element Tav, element Beit will correspond to element Shin and so on. The first element will align with the last element, the second element will correspond to the second to last element, the third element will correspond to the third to last element, and so on. The three main purposes that I have personally found for studying these Chiasms are 1) it is awe inspiring to seek out the central purpose (the heart) of a given context via the structure of the language itself! 2) it is truly humbling to bear witness to a complexity (though comprehensive and RIGHT THERE before us) and craftsman ship that no human being could construct inside this awesome Divine sefer! 3) it gives you a new area of exercise and study inside the scripture itself without reaching to far for hidden meaning or allegory. Another platform for growth intellectually and spiritually.
The center of a chasm is an idea (center of gravity) around which the text revolves. Each element of chaistic text teaches us more about what its counterpart really means.
When looking you can’t just match up the verse numbers you have to look at the contextual “theme’s”. You should ask ‘how far does the Chiasm’ extend?
There is a huge chaism which spans the latter half of the book of Sh’mot. It begins with the Command(s) to build a Mishkan (Tabernacle) from Sh’mot 25-31;15 [element(s) A]. Next we have Sabbath commands,Sh’mot 31;15-17 [element(s) B]. Sh’mot 32-35 is the Golden Calf account [element(s) C] and center of the chaism. Elements A and B correspond to the other side of the chaism and the “same” themes there.
The text under the image is the text you see on the page I am holding, the image shows the color coding (which makes chaism’s much easier to ‘see’ and understand).
A] God’s Presence on Mount Sinai
Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 24;15-16
* looking deeper in: 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. (Moshe is able to approach the Presence of Hashem, His presence RESTS on something….God Made)
Intimidating, consuming the people pull back.
19; 18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.
20;18 All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.
B] Command to build Mishkan
looking deeper in: The people assembled around Aaron….32;1 ויקהל
(on their ‘own’, the self assembling to MAKE…complete failure)
– Moses Goes to Get Luchot
(24;18 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.) 31;18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
—– Golden Calf
- Moshe goes to get Luchot
Sh’mot 34:29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.
* looking deeper in: Moshe assembles the people 35;1 …. ויקהל
(assembled by Moshe, the“congregation” of Hashem coming together to MAKE… complete success)
Sabbath (Sh’mot 35;2)
Building of Mishkan (Sh’mot 35;5…)
God’s Presence in the Mishkan
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 40;33-34
– looking deeper in: Moses was not able to enter…because the cloud (the intensity in respect to Sinai is increased, emphasizing that as much as God’s presence was at Sinai, that was a ‘drop in the ocean’ in comparison to how He stayed in the Mishkan within the Children of Israel! His presence comes INSIDE something….Man ‘made’)
Benevolent,gentle- guiding & leading the people. Providing comfort and light.
40;36-38 Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; 37 but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. 38 For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.
33;5… should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you.
Complete failure after the Egel….and now the presence comes within the Mishkan!!
Victory for the Jewish people.
For a clearer detailed explanation of this Chaistic structure see the following links:
The center of this chaism is the Golden Calf text. What follows is more in depth as to the details revolving around that center. What was it that “changed” the fate of the people?
We will find that it came down to a sincere heart change and an ACT, which touched Hashem’s heart.
וְנֹחַ מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָֽה But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. B’reshit 6;8
# 2580 (Masc. N) Chen חֵן – grace, favor, goodwill, beauty, supplication, prayer.
# 5146 (proper Masc. N) Noach נֹחַ – rest.
# 5117 (v) nuwach נוּחַ- be at rest, reside, remain, to quiet, to let alone, to leave.
Sh’mot 23; 12-13“ For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.“Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves.
הַנִּ֣יחָה לִּ֔י Haniycha li- Leave me alone: Shmot 32; 10 [ הנחה ] Decree of destruction
“Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”
( וְהִנָּחֵ֥ם V’hinachem- Relent, Moshe’s request Sh’mot 32;12…Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. )
וַיִּנָּ֖חֶם Vayinaychem- Changed His Mind Sh’mot 32;14 [ וינחם] Shift, ‘change of mind’ about threatened destruction
So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
לֵ֣ךְ נְחֵ֣ה Lech N’cheh- Go lead: Sh’mot 32;34 [נחה] Go lead them, angel will take you…
“But go now, lead the people where I told you. Behold, My angel shall go before you; nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
וַהֲנִחֹ֥תִי Vahaniychotiy-I will give you rest: Sh’mot 33;14 [ והנחתי] I will lead you; God takes back the angel
And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”
וְחַנֹּתִי֙ V’chanoti-I will be gracious: Sh’mot 33;19 [וחנתי] I will bestow grace…
And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
וּנְחַלְתָּֽנוּ U’n’chaltanu -Let us be Your inheritance: Sh’mot 43;9 [ונחלתנו] Let us be Your legacy….
He said, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your own possession.”
Chaism within the occurrences of the permutations of N’ch נח
Leave me alone… (God: they are a stiff necked people)
Change of mind…
Go lead… “come into your midst…”
* Take off your jewelry (for the Lord has said…you’re a stiff necked people)
I will lead… “come into your midst…”
I will bestow grace…
Let us be your legacy…(Moshe: they are a stiff necked people)
At the center of the chaism. The center of the vast textual structure at the end of Shemot, the book of Names…where we can uncover what it really means to Make a name for ourselves IN HIM, as His bride. We converge on the central point Hashem is guiding us to. Despite the most inconceivable betrayal one could imagine…IF ever there was a time that one could KNOW, there is a God in the world, it is at The giving of the Torah, yet the people worship this false hope, this golden calf…despite this, there is some THING that the people DO, an ACT which changes everything. The center of the chaism:
Sh’mot 33; 3”Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, and I might destroy you on the way.” 4 When the people heard this sad word, they went into mourning, and none of them put on his ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.’” 6 So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
Last week we discussed the concept of God looking inside of Aaron ha Kohen and seeing his inner intentions, knowing his heart, judging in his favor. When we look now at this people, let us use the same concept. Some things are evident right from the text. God held out for the people the Land of Promise. He said, you’ll still go to the land. The prize was still theirs to take. But they knew what the TRUE TREASURE was, as unfortunate as it is that it took such a weighty sin to wake them up to the futility of what was ‘made of their own riches’. Their understanding, da’at, that Hashem not going WITHIN them (after all) was the TRUE TRAGEDY of the whole situation helped change the tide in their relationship with Hashem. They mourned – their betrayal of Hashem, the realization that they had perhaps been forgiven (destruction suspended) but the pain was still very real. The mourned the fact that there very well could exist a distance, a disconnect that might never be secured. They mourned and then they took off their “jewelry”: #5716 (masc n) adiy עֲדִי – ornaments, trappings. (Found only here in this Torah context)
The incredible heights by which Hashem has brought attention to the repentance of His people, the concept of the removal of that which would ‘adorn’ ourselves or bolster our own sense of pride or entitlement is amazing. I pray that we will all be encouraged and strengthened to know that even in the worst betrayals we serve a God Who is merciful and forgiving. He does desire us to ACT and in that action, from a broken heart, He can move in our lives. While we are alive we can be restored to Him it is never too late!
#7160 (v) karan קָרַן- to radiate, emit beams, to bear horns.
(Only the following 3 occurrences in Torah:)
#4543 (masc. n) mas’veh מַסְוֶה – a covering, a vail.
Sh’mot 34:29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him….. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out; and whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel what he had been commanded, 35 the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him.
There is a HUGE difference between hiding WITH Hashem and hiding FROM Hashem. When you hide WITH a friend, this can be the beginning of getting not back but ABOVE where you once were. (“Look, I am having some issues, I need to be ‘inside’ will you stay with me and help me figure out these feelings” – each one of you should know that you are NOT alone. You have others who are immediately and directly concerned with your well being. Your health. Your growth. Not one of us happened upon this room, these hours, this meeting. We are here for a reason. WE are that reason.) When one FALLS, we’ve got to strive to get even BETTER than before. Post chet ha egel, Moshe’s veil was perhaps so that the people didn’t feel SO much lower than they already did. After Moshe is successful at intercession, and rekindling the love between Hashem and His people they are given the Sabbath commands and are told not to work on anything, even the Mishkan during Shabbat. THEN it was time to get back to work…and Betzalel was the ‘main man’ chosen by God to run things. Betzalel(Leah) and Aholiav (‘firstborn’ of Rachael’s maid Bilhah). These two represent Judah and Dan. Judah-from Yada יָדָה to praise, worship. Dan- from Din דִּין judge. Truly the two outstanding qualities of the Temple service. Drawing near in worship and seeking atonement through repentance and offerings ‘due’ judgment. Brothers, one from the ‘loved wife’ one from the ‘despised’, coming together in order to build the place where Hashem (Who would indwell the people) could be drawn near to for worship and repentance by the Kahal and anyone who would choose to attach themselves to her One Law-Torah. Remember, from start to finish the Mishkan was HEART centered and SPIRIT led. These two men were imbued with Spirit AND the concept of Judah being a predominant figure with Dan as a much less ‘prestigious’ tribe…working together again shows that God does not favor a man based upon his ‘stature’. It is taught that “Only when Betzalel and Aholiav work in unity can we forge a connection with God.”
Sh’mot 31;1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom חָכְמָה, in understanding וּבִתְבוּנָה, in knowledge וּבְדַעַת , and in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, 5 and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship. 6 And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you…
חָכְמָה Chochmah- is like a flash of lightning, “Wow! I really see something in my life…”
בוּנָה Binah- is, I am contemplating, “Hmm, what is this really saying to me…?”
Why did I have to see what I just saw….Why did I have to hear what I just heard…..
דַעַת Da’at – Understanding how to utilize it in my life. How to take what Hashem put on my plate… and ESTABLISH something with it.
- Real Da’at is asking, Do you really know why you’re doing what you’re DOING? The Mishkan is us! This is what life is! Building, breaking it down. Journeying, rebuilding, breaking it down. Journeying, building, breaking down, building, breaking down…
Sh’mot 36;16 He joined five curtains by themselves and the other six curtains by themselves. 17Moreover, he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the first set, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second set. 18 He made fifty clasps of bronze to join the tent together so that it would be a unit… 29 They were double beneath, and together they were complete to its top to the first ring; thus he did with both of them for the two corners.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the Kingdom, the Mishkan’s walls, it’s ‘pillars’ which would form its outer courtyard (the ‘body’) are all assembled in groups. A group here, a group there and these groups are bound together WHERE THEY ARE. Then, all the groupings of curtains are joined together with vavim (vav’s- hooks, NAILS) and they become ONE. This is to me a beautiful picture of the Remnant of Hashem which consists of all different types of believers from all over the globe. Each community first finds one another in their area, their region. Then we all come together to make up this one, unified, body all surrounding and ‘guarding’ the heart which holds the Luchot, the Torah, God’s Instruction.
- Revelation 12;3 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never again leave it. Upon him I will write the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from My God), and My new name.
- Yirmeyahu 23; 3 “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.
Hashem puts you in the world not to see how much peace we can have, but how we can keep things together when they come apart. May we be built back up after we come apart and may we help others ‘set things back together’ when they are in their times of detachment. May we know and help one another to remember that every hook was essential, every panel of fabric, every ounce of perfume, each liter of oil, each measure of copper, silver of gold, each loaf of bread, each log of wood, each hand, each foot, each heart…each stone. Each one of us is unique, specialized, and essential for it all to come together!
The Mishkan was movable, it was transportable, flexible, ready. It was the first thing that would get set up (from the inside out) and then the camp would formulate around it. And it was, as we end the book of Sh’mot for this cycle we find Moshe setting up the entire Mishkan, and it is when the WORK IS FINISHED (Shabbat) that the glory of Hashem fills the house!
Sh’mot 40;33 He erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court. Thus Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
May you be blessed in the journeying. Learning to be movable and not untouched by the interactions in our lives. Let us repent and take of our finery before our peers, neighbors, spouses, before Hashem. Let it not be ‘okay’ to just journey forward without Hashem within us! Let it NOT be enough that we just go on, working, striving, intending to take what’s held out to us day after day without pleading with Hashem that His presence Go within us. Let us make our lives, in every element, color, texture, sense, thought, dream, idea…skillfully crafted into a Home of Hashem ALL the time. A place He can make a permanent stay.
chazak chazak v’nitchazek
Be strong Be strong and may we be strengthened!
“If we’re not kindling our faith all seven days of the week, we’ll be likely to make a golden calf.”
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Much of this week’s content was from Alephbeta.org, arikahn.blogspot.co.il and Shlomokatz.com