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Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Vayeilech – Deuteronomy 30:20-31:30
Do you ever imagine what it feels like to fly? I’ve flown in a glider, sky dived, and scuba dived. All seemed liked flying in one way or another. But when I flew in an F/A-18 fighter jet with a 270-degree view, I had a profound sense of the infinite. If you don’t have connections with naval aviation, Parshas Vayeilech gives you a path for achieving the same experience:
“Take this Torah Scroll and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of Your G-d, and it will be there against you for a witness.” (Devarim/Deuteronomy 31:26)
In this Sabbath’s parsha, Moses informs the Israelites he will die soon. He appoints Joshua as the new leader. Then he reminds them that G-d will protect them so they should not fear their enemies. Once again he commands them to fear G-d and observe the Torah. Next, G-d appears to Moses and tells him the people will rebel and turn to other gods. Moses must teach them a song by which they can redeem themselves. Then he finishes writing the Torah and gives it to the Levites.
Where the Finite Meets the Infinite
The Torah Scroll may have rested on a ledge that projected from the side of the Ark or inside it with the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The verse is unclear. Either way, both rested in the holiest area of the Temple when it stood in Jerusalem.
The tablets were miraculous. The letters were cut out of the stone tablets. Yet no matter which side you viewed, the words were in the right direction. Also, the centers of the Hebrew letters final mem and samech stayed in place even though they had no connection to the rest of the tablets.
By contrast, the Torah Scroll was written on parchment with black ink. Such materials reflect the physical world.
Why were they together in the holiest of holy places?
The miraculous tablets transcended space and time. They existed as an earthly manifestation of heaven, the World to Come. They radiated out from the Holy of Holies in the Temple and illuminated the Courtyards, the Temple Mount, Israel, and the world beyond. The tablets alerted all the nations of the earth that the Infinite One, the Almighty, can be found in the finite.
You Can Connect to the Infinite
But how could stones sitting inside the Ark connect with anything outside? They do so through their intermediary, the Torah, housed right next to them. The Torah contains many ways to connect with the Creator. By doing so, you can move outside of your finite existence. In effect, you can enter the Holy of Holies where your soul can commune with G-d.
Like any relationship, start out slowly. Rushing matters almost always ends in disaster. Pick one way to build a connection. Focus on involving yourself with it every day. If nothing else, simply contemplate a verse of Scripture for a few minutes. If done daily, over time you’ll build a solid connection. The infinite will be within your grasp.
What do or can you do every day to connect with G-d? Please comment below.
Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. It is named after the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.
What verse in the Old Testament would you like to know more about? Ask a question and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!
© , Kevin S. Bemel, All Rights Reserved
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