This weeks’ Parsha is sometimes called the Accountants’ Sedra because it is like an audit, covering the many verses devoted to the building of the Mishkan. It is “signed off” only when God enters the tabernacle in a cloud. But, when the community is to move on, the cloud goes outside the camp. In the Torah we read:
When the cloud lifted from above the Tabernacle, the Israelites went onward in all their journeys
A community, in Hebrew, can be described as an “edah”, with a collective identity, a” tzibbur”, a community come together for prayer (with a minyan) and a “kehilla”, a collective identity with a diverse mixture of people. The Tabernacle is portable; our personal identity travels with us. To be a Jew is to be on a journey.
It is not only the momentous moments of our lives that matter. The revelation at Sinai was a moment of ecstasy. However, it is not grand gestures but small, repeated displays of love and caring that cement a relationship in our families and also with God. What we do whilst on our own journey, for our own family and as a community, is important. Day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year we have the opportunity to take those small steps to bring God into our lives.