Like many others around the world, this past Sunday, I watched the Oscars. And while there were many inspiring moments, Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech was one of the most moving. Her words continue to reverberate, “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you, you are ever past your prime. Never give up.” A stark reminder to all of us: no matter our age or stage in life, we always have more to offer, more to create. And perhaps, some of our greatest work is yet to come.
A similar message is offered in the Torah. As the Tabernacle is fashioned, we learn, “The work was sufficient for them for all they were to do, and more” (Exodus 36:7). The Kedushat Levi, Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, wonders why two seemingly contradictory words are used in the verse. If the work by the Israelites was sufficient, then he inquires, “What is the more?” He explains that while the architectural plans of the Tabernacle were complete, there would always be room to uncover and reveal other pathways within the design, leading to a stronger connection with God.
The Kedushat Levi posits that the Tabernacle serves as a metaphor for God’s creation. That while God designed a wondrous plan for creation, there is always room for more. More innovation. More wisdom. More growth. We are each meant to add our unique gifts to God’s constructed plans.
So, don’t let anyone tell you that it is time to give up. Expect more from yourself. God certainly does.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.