Hearing the call

A developing process of revelation.

Moshe Kempinski,

Judaism Moshe Kempinski
Moshe Kempinski
צילום: PR
The Glory of G-d moves away from being in the midst of the people after the debacle of the sin of the golden calf;


And Moshe took the tent and pitched it for himself outside the camp, distancing [it] from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting, and it would be that anyone seeking Hashem would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.       ….And it would be that when Moshe entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and He would speak with Moshe.       When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and prostrate themselves, each one at the entrance of his tent..( Exodus 33:7-11)

Yet when the process of forgiveness had been achieved and its purpose  attained, we read of a different arrangement:
 

And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Hashem filled the Mishkan. Moshe could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of Hashem filled the Mishkan.     When the cloud rose up from over the Mishkan, the children of Israel set out in all their journeys.       But if the cloud did not rise up, they did not set out until the day that it rose. For the cloud of Hashem was upon the Mishkan by day, and there was fire within it at night, before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys.(Exodus 40:34-38)

The clouds of Glory (Kavod Hashem) returned to be in their midst , yet, with one dramatic distinction. In the tent of Moshe we read: And it would be that when Moshe entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and He would speak with Moshe
While in the tent of the tabernacle we read: And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Hashem filled the Mishkan. Moshe could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of Hashem filled the Mishkan


In the first situation we see how the Clouds of Glory responded to the initiative of Moshe. While in the second they proved to be an obstacle.
 

This obstacle is removed in the first verse of the book of Leviticus;
 

And He called to Moshe( VaYikra), and Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting...(Leviticus 1:1)


What are we to learn from this developing process of revelation?
The People of Israel had undergone a climactic and painful spiritual crisis. They remained broken and psychologically stymied by their sense of guilt and unworthiness.
What began as a clear experience of G-d speaking to them directly from the fiery mountain of Sinai was soon changed because of trembling and fear. The experience of hearing G-d’s voice was so overwhelming and we see how the people expressed a need to have Moshe stand between them and the Ultimate G-d.

“Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of Hashem our G-d any more, then we shall die….. You go near, and hear all that Hashem our G-d may say; and you shall speak unto us all that Hashem our G-d may speak unto you; and we will hear it."
(Deuteronomy 5:25)
They soon descended down a slippery slope. When the people saw that Moshe had not come down the mountain, they gathered round Aaron and said to him, ‘come make for us G-ds to go (Yeilchu-plural verb) before us [to lead us]; for that man [Moshe] who brought us here from Egypt – we do not know what has become of him’.” (ibid 32:1).
Their process of repentance would necessitate stage following stage. They first needed to experience a physical separation that resulted from their actions. And it would be that when Moshe would go out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand, each one at the entrance of his tent, and they would gaze after Moshe until he went into the tent..(Exodus 33:8)
The ensuing repentance and soulful pain brought about a return Of Hashem’s palpable Presence into the community tabernacle that the people succeeded to create  with the open generosity of their hears,

"Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering." (Exodus 25:2), In this way Hashem’s promise of "They shall make for Me a sanctuary and I will dwell amidst them” becomes  fulfilled.

Yet the relationship has gone through a large and critical change. The entry into such a relationship needs to be in answer to the invitation and can never be taken for granted.
 And He called to Moshe (VaYikra) and Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting (Leviticus 1:1).
The invitation has been heard before as well. And Hashem G-d called (VaYikra)  to man, and He said to him "Where are you?"( Genesis 3:9). Instead of responding to that invitation, Adam begins to spout excuses and rationalizations.

When Moshe heard the call he entered.

When each of us, individually, will also hear that call,  we need to be ready to enter.
Yet one more important truth needs to be understood. That Divine call is ever present and available. It is not about waiting to hear the call, it is about opening one’s ears.
You desired neither sacrifice nor meal offering; Rather You have given me listening ears (Psalm 40:7)...

To hear the invitation of Vayikra necessitates a yearning and readiness to listen.Only in this way can we enter into that “Presence”.

LeRefuat Yehudit bat Golda Yocheved




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