Building Our LivesMarch 19, 2020 - 12:00 am
So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year. — Exodus 40:17
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. This week’s Torah portion is a double reading, Vayakhel-Pekudei, from Exodus 35:1–40:38. Vayakhel means “assembled,” and Pekudei means “counting.”
Whenever I need encouragement after a hard day, or when things just don’t seem to be going right, I think of my husband’s father. My dear father-in-law went through the Holocaust, lost most of his family, and began a new life in Israel. However, just when things were going well, his business partner died, and their shared business went under. My father-in-law moved to America, “the land of opportunity,” and started over yet again. After a few wonderful decades, his wife passed away, and he made the decision to move back to Israel and begin again.
No matter how many times my father-in-law’s life fell apart, he rebuilt it and found a way to be happy, teaching us all that no matter how hard things get, we must never give up. We can always get up, rebuild, and start again.
In this week’s Torah portion, we read about the completion of the construction of the Tabernacle. According to tradition, while the Tabernacle was set up on the first of the month of Nissan, this was not the first time that the Tabernacle had been erected. Before that day, Moses built the Tabernacle and dismantled it seven times!
Why would Moses do such a thing?
Our tradition teaches that Moses foresaw that the Tabernacle would be taken down five times, and that the Temple would be destroyed twice. He wanted to demonstrate, that although the House of God might fall seven times, it would always be rebuilt. Moreover, Moses illustrated the idea that no matter how many times we may fall, we can always get up again. As we read in Proverbs 24: 16, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again …”
In life, we encounter many different challenges, some which shake our faith and leave us hurting. However, the most important thing we can do during such times is to get up and begin again. No matter how many times we fall, no matter how many times everything we built has fallen, we must always keep rebuilding and never stop believing.
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