Sunday, March 3, 2013
Vayakhel-Pekudei: Reaffirming the Bond with Our Creator
Our highest knowledge of the Creator enables us to bond with Him. It sounds obvious that the more we know someone or something, the more we are related to it. The point here is to apply this obvious fact into real practice. This means that there are times in which our knowledge of something doesn't necessarily imply that we are close enough to it.
In this sense we refer to the knowledge of God as our continuing connection with Him. This is what we mean when we call Moses our highest knowledge of God, because he personifies our relationship with the Creator. This explains the role of Moses throughout his life along with the children of Israel, as it is recalled in the narrative of the last two portions of the book Exodus.
“All the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting was completed; the children of Israel had done [it]; according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so they had done.”, “In accordance with all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel do all the work. Moses saw the entire work, and lo! they had done it as the Lord had commanded, so had they done. So Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39:32, 42-43)
Moses our teacher shows us how the connection with the Creator works.
“Thus Moses did according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did.” (40:16)
Our connection with God is the entire reason of our life because we come from Him, and to Him we return from ego's fantasies and illusions. Our knowledge of God is directly proportional to our separation from ego's agenda. In other words, the more we live in our own delusions of grandeur, the more we are far away from our true Essence and identity.
It may sound obvious and logical the way we should approach our relationship with God, but it indeed depends on our knowledge of the ways and attributes in which He relates to us and His entire Creation. These are the ways He reveals His Presence in us, because our Essence and true identity emanate from His ways and attributes we call here God's Love.
There is a practical approach to this, because our relationship with God is not theoretical at all. The Torah shows us the ways and means to fully live our permanent bond with God, and in the first Commandment He gave us in the Exodus from Egypt is the starting point.
“It came to pass in the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Tabernacle was set up.” (40:17)
We said in other commentaries on this blog that the renewal the Moon also represents our renewal as individuals and as a Nation. This implies that there are no beginnings and endings but constant renewals in our lives when we consecrate them to our Creator.
This explains the inauguration of the Tabernacle in the New Moon of the month in which God delivered us from Egypt, from the house of slavery. There is a connection between our permanent bond with God (represented by the Tabernacle) and the constant renewal of our relationship with Him, as the premise to approach life in the material world.
The Torah reminds us many times that once we establish our permanent connection with God, He is also constantly with us.
“For the cloud of the Lord was upon the Tabernacle by day, and there was fire within it at night, before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys.” (40:38)
Vayekhel and Pekudei narrate again the details of the construction of the Tabernacle to emphasize the importance of our relationship with God, because without it there is no real meaning in our life. The details seem to be even redundant but we must understand them in their meanings regarding the aspects and dimensions of consciousness we must direct and dedicate to our relationship with God.
The idea is not repetition for the sake or repetition but to remark and highlight the whole point of our existence. The Tabernacle as our permanent connection with the Creator is precisely such point. Hence we also have to repeat what we have said before regarding this.
As a matter of fact, that has been and is the point of our blog. We want to call our attention about the Jewish identity, its origins, its meanings, and especially its purpose. The Torah contains and integrates all of them for us as Jews to recognize, embrace and perform. Our Essence and true identity in sharp contrast to ego's illusions and fantasies as the idols we are destined to defeat in order to enthrone Love's ways and attributes in all levels and dimensions of consciousness.
We must insist that our relationship with God is based on Love as our common bond with Him. We proclaim this principle before and after reciting “Hear [understand] Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One”. So let's quote the Jewish prayer book with the introductory blessing to this fundamental statement.
“You love us with an everlasting love, O Lord our God (...) Allow our hearts to understand, hear, learn, teach, guard, do, and uphold all the matters of Your Torah's instruction, with love (…) And You have brought us close to Your great Name forever en truth, to thank You, and proclaim Your Oneness with love. Bless are You, Lord, who chooses His people Israel with love.”
In the evening we say,
“With endless love you have loved the house of Israel. (…) May Your love never depart from us. Blessed are You, Lord, who loves His people Israel.”
And immediately we say,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”
As we proclaim God's Oneness we are also proclaiming ourselves as part of Him with [in] Love.
Thus we have to understand the Tabernacle as the time and space beyond comprehension in which we know our Essence and identity as part of our Creator. We realize this through Love as our common bond with Him.
In this awareness there are no illusions or fantasies, because the only Truth in which we live is God. And nothing else. Hence we must know Him as the Source from where all emanates. This is why we are here. This is our identity. This is our destiny.
From the Book's Foreword
Let's reexamine our ancestral memory, intellect, feelings, emotions and passions. Let's wake them up to our true Essence. Let us engage in the delightful awareness of Love as the Essence of G-d. The way this book is written is to reaffirm and reiterate its purpose, so it presents its message and content in a recurrent way. This is exactly its purpose, to restate the same Truth originally proclaimed by our Holy Scriptures, Prophets and Sages. Our purpose is to firmly enthrone G-d's Love in all dimensions of our consciousness, and by doing it we will fulfill His Promise that He may dwell with us on Earth forever. Let's discover together the hidden message of our ancient Scriptures and Sages. In that journey, let's realize Love as our Divine Essence, what we call in this book the revealed Light of Redemption in the Messianic era.