The Blessing of AcknowledgementMarch 10, 2021 - 12:00 am
“Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them” — Exodus 39:43
Each week in synagogue or at home, 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.”
The other day I walked into my son’s room and felt so proud of him for keeping his space clean. His bed was made neatly; his dirty clothing was in the hamper; and his school supplies were organized on his desk. It reminded me of a different time when he was about four years old and he proudly called me in to see his “clean” room.
That time, his “clean” room contained a bed that he tried to make, but looked like two of his friends may have been hiding under the blanket. His toys were “put away” by placing them in a messy pile in the middle of the room, and he put his very dirty clothing back into his closet on top of his clean ones!
What did I do? What every other parent would do! I gave him a kiss and told him how proud I was of him.
It dawned on me that maybe that is why my son’s room is clean years later. Even when he hadn’t done a perfect job, I acknowledged his effort so that it might inspire him to keep doing it in the future.
In this week’s Torah portion the Israelites completed the tasks they were given in building the Tabernacle and presented their handiwork to Moses. Moses inspected their contributions and saw that everything had been accomplished according to plan. Then come four powerful words in the Bible that are easily overlooked: “So Moses blessed them.”
What was the purpose of Moses’ blessing? The Israelites had already completed all of their work. Surely, they needed the blessing before achieving their goals in order to help them do their work, not afterward!
However, Moses understood the importance of giving a blessing after work has been completed. While encouragement is helpful before working toward a goal, acknowledgement after a goal has been realized is equally as powerful, if not more so. By blessing the Israelites upon the completion of their work, Moses raised them up and inspired faithful obedience in the future.
In the same way, God wants us to acknowledge others when they do their job. It only takes a moment to do, but the impact lasts forever.
Your turn: Tell someone you appreciate the job they are doing — whether it’s the barista at your favourite coffee shop, a co-worker, or someone in your family.