Honorable Mensch-ion


Tents are scary and unstable. They are difficult to build and unreliable if not built well. At the same time, a good tent withstands the elements and becomes a sacred place. What child does not reflect upon their first camping trip, relationships built with their tent mates, star gazing in the wilderness, and blessing God’s natural world?

The Torah teaches us in the blessing of Mah Tov that a tent is a temporary structure, but a dwelling place in the house of Israel is permanent. The Talmud looks at a contradiction in the Torah. In one place, Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because God’s cloud of glory rested upon it, but in another place, we read that Moses entered the tent. How could this be?

The Rabbis explain that Moses could not enter the tent because God’s presence made it inaccessible. In this case, a shvil, a path, was created. When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, it was the homa, the sea wall, that allowed them to cross. Similarly, God created a path for Moses to enter into the cloud when he thought he was unable.

It is easy to turn around when there is no path before our eyes. It is difficult yet rewarding when we create our own path to enter into a sacred moment. How many paths have we not walked only because we did not recognize that it was our obligation to create the way ahead? Let us not look at the paths that do not exist. Instead, create the path, build the tent, and bask in the sacred moment that you find yourself in.

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