The last part of the book of Exodus gets extremely repetitive. And not even repetitive about the exciting bits, but repetitive with the tabernacle. It is so easy to just skip over these chapters and move on to something else entirely. When we do so, however, we miss out on something profound. Israel, for all their faults and failures, has finally come to a point where they are united behind a common cause. A community working together whole heartedly to build a dwelling place for God.
All through the book of Exodus God has been revealing His name to the world. We have seen His reputation, authority, power, and more. But what is it that drives all of these other aspects of the Name of God? This week we find out. In this passage God calls out His character to Moses, and then acts within that character to renew the covenant that had been broken.
The story of the Golden Calf in the wilderness is one of the most iconic stories in the Bible. Israel had just had a very real encounter with their God. They had agreed multiple times to the terms of the covenant. And then, once their leader is missing for a few weeks, they turn their back on the command that they had received. What precipitated this action? What are the implications of the fallout? Where can Israel go from here?
There are times in every process when you simply have to take a break. This is one of those times. In this interlude episode we take a break from the weekly parsha cycle to give an update on the progress of various Darash Chai projects, and then to discuss something that has been weighing on my mind.
In Exodus 31 we read the final instructions that are given in regards to the Tabernacle. Several foreman are appointed and the final charge is given to commence the building project that has been commissioned by God. And then, as the final and seventh part of the instructions that have been the topic of the text since Exodus 25, the command is given to keep the Sabbath. There is in this chapter, a contrast between work and Shabbat. Two ends of a spectrum that we all engage in.