This week, Rabbi Rick Jacobs takes a look at parashat T’tzaveh, in which the Israelites are commanded to create the ner tamid (eternal light) in the Tabernacle. He wonders: How is light symbolic in the Jewish tradition, and how can we best shine our own light toward others?
Parshiyot Vayak’heil and P’kudei each cover the many details of the building of the Tabernacle. But the first blueprint is found in Parashat T’rumah, when Moses receives the instructions for how to build the Tabernacle. Now, in Vayak’heil, construction finally begins, and we hear the instructions again. Then in P'kudei, where Moses gives an accounting, there’s still another itemization of every component used to build the Tabernacle.
A few years ago I put a reminder on my Google Calendar for 12:30 p.m. every day to get up and do some part of Minchah, the afternoon service. ... I keep coming back to daily prayer as a source of the personal affirmation and renewal I need to serve as the leader I hope to be.In this week’s Torah portion, Tzav, Aaron and his sons, the priests of the Israelite community, are commanded to make their own daily, humble, personal sacrificial offerings as part of their regular work of Temple service.
The Torah reading for this intermediate Shabbat of Passover, Chol HaMo-eid Pesach (Ex. 33:12-34:26), starts after the story of the Golden Calf. Moses, keenly aware of the failure in leadership that led to this disaster, reasonably asks for God’s help and direction. But then, he follows up with something truly extraordinary: Moses asks to actually see God, saying, "Oh, let me behold Your Presence!"
What does it mean to be "mindful," to truly slow down and pay attention to what's happening in our daily lives? This week, Rabbi Rick Jacobs explores this question through Parashat Misphatim when God beckons Moses to not only come up to a mountain, but to also "be" there.