This week’s Torah portion is a double one: Vayakhel-Pekudei
Exodus 35:1–40:38. These portions are a continuation of the description of the building of the “Mishkan-“our sacred place where God dwells within. Four parshas of the Torah focus on the building of the “mishkan” whereas one parsha focuses on the creation of the world. You may wonder why we focus so much attention in the Torah on building this sacred place for God to dwell when the story of creation in itself seems so much more momentous.
We as a senior staff discuss returning to the building to worship in person, I can certainly understand why it takes so long to discuss every aspect of where God will dwell and how we will be able to worship together in person again.
We are considering every aspect of the building so that we can safely return to being in person. From the bathrooms, to the kitchen, to air filtration, to seating both indoors and outdoors, it is as if we are building a new “mishkan”. In this portion, Moses hands over the design to an artist who takes his command from God. For us, we have a committee, we have guidelines, and we have Brian. In addition, every time the state changes their guidelines, Brian has to interpret it, just as we did when building the “mishkan.”
The name of the artist is Betzaleil, which means in the shadow of God. The artist is not always the one who we see making the magic happen, but this person is the one informed and inspired by God. Our administrator, Brian Rissinger is our Betzaleil right now, ensuring that when we return, we will be safe, we will feel comfortable, and that the spirit of God will dwell among us.
This week, we should remember that the work being done to help our return to KI, to our sanctuary, is sometimes done in the shadows, but the result will be amazing, and soon we will gather again in the safest possible way.
Thank you Brian for always thinking of us, and for creating a sacred and safe “mishkan” where God can dwell among us!