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The true test of one’s faith lies in day-to-day living

  • ParshaRabbiRichard
We read in the parsha of Pekudei, with reference to the completion of the Tabernacle, that “Moshe (Moses) saw all the work and behold they had done it; as Hashem had commanded so had they done; and Moshe blessed them” (Shmot 39:43).
by Rabbi Rodney Richard, Emmarentia Shul | Mar 08, 2018

Rashi, the famous biblical commentator, says the blessing that Moshe gave to them was: “May the divine presence of G-d rest in the work of your hands.”

Surely a more logical place for this blessing would have been at the outset of the building of the Tabernacle, when the instruction for its construction is given in the portion of Teruma? Why then, is the blessing only given now, upon its completion?

The answer can perhaps be found in a familiar verse in Tehillim (Psalms): “Who will go up upon the Mountain of Hashem and who will rise up to His holy place?” The commentaries tell us that this verse alludes to the fact that there are two different challenges in life. Ascending the mountain is certainly a great challenge, but there is an even greater challenge: maintaining that altitude.

At the beginning of the building of the Tabernacle, everyone was enthused. Following the sin of the golden calf, Hashem had threatened to annihilate the Children of Israel. Moses prayed on their behalf and finally, on Yom Kippur, he descended from Mount Sinai with the second set of Tablets. They started building the Tabernacle on the day after Yom Kippur. Everyone participated with passion and commitment. That is the phase of “Who will climb up the Mountain of G-d?”.

However, now that the Tabernacle is built, the excitement dissipates. Now, day in, day out, the repetitive routine begins. We bring the same daily sacrifices, day in and day out. Can we maintain our lofty position?

We often get carried away with big events: grand openings, inaugurations, celebrations, beginnings of new eras. These are all heralded with a lavish party, with excitement, glitz and glamour all round.

When a barmitzvah boy starts putting on Tefillin, he is filled with tremendous passion and enthusiasm. Is that same level of enthusiasm present five years, or even five weeks, later? Is the same degree of love and commitment between bride and groom under the chuppah maintained post honeymoon?

Judaism maintains that life is made up not only of the big events but also the small events. It’s the day-to-day things that, in some ways, have greater potential for sanctity than the large-scale things.

Judaism is about appreciating the small things, recognising that life happens in the day-to-dayness of things. This represents the essence of what Judaism is all about: sanctifying the day-to-day life.

The big events are merely the kickstart to our personal mission in this world. They are but a springboard for day-to-day things, where real life happens.

May it be His will that His Divine Presence abides in the handicraft of our hands. May our commitment, enthusiasm, love and passion never waiver in our interpersonal relationships and in our relationship with Hashem.

Good Shabbos.

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