Last week’s parasha, Mishpatim, ended with Moses’ disappearance into the cloud and fire on the top of Mount Sinai.
This week we begin abruptly with the words of T’rumah: “Now Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelites, that they may take me a raised-contribution…” Moses left and immediately God commanded the Israelites to begin giving things for the building of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, God’s portable dwelling place.
Some Jewish commentators note that such a transition helped the Israelites cope with the difficulty of leaving Mount Sinai behind. They had just encountered the miraculous, and then built the means to carry that experience around with them.
We face similar challenges and opportunities all the time – how do we continue the feelings of a peak experience after we’ve finished it? How do we reclaim the sense of something wonderful from our past?
Jewish answers include everything from prayer and meditation that allow us to renew our everyday lives with past wisdom to using the teachings of the past to craft a framework for new meaningful experiences.
May we make our transitions better through memories that inspire holy innovation.