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Rabbi Robinson’s Sermon, March 15, 2024

Pekudei: Chazak Plaut P. 634
Source Sheet by Yair Robinson
Exodus 40:34-38
(34) the cloud covered the Tent of
Meeting, and the Presence of יהוה
filled the Tabernacle. (35) Moses
could not enter the Tent of
Meeting, because the cloud had
settled upon it and the Presence of
יהוה filled the Tabernacle. (36)
When the cloud lifted from the
Tabernacle, the Israelites would set
out, on their various journeys; (37)
but if the cloud did not lift, they
would not set out until such time as
it did lift. (38) For over the
Tabernacle a cloud of יהוה rested by
day, and fire would appear in it by
night, in the view of all the house of
Israel throughout their journeys.
שמות מ׳:ל״ד-ל״ח
)לד( וַיְכַ ַ֥ס הֶ עָ נָ ָ֖ן אֶ ת־א ֹ֣ הֶ ל מֹוע ֵ֑ד
ּוכְ בֹ֣ ֹוד יְה וָָ֔ה מָ ל א אֶ ת־הַ מִּ שְ כָָּֽ ן׃ )לה(
וְל א־יָכ ֹ֣ ל מ שֶֶׁ֗ ה לָבֹוא֙ אֶ ל־א ֹ֣ הֶ ל מֹוע ָ֔ ד
כִָּּֽ י־שָ כַ ַ֥ן עָלָ יו הֶ עָ נָ ֵָ֖֑ן ּוכְ בֹ֣ ֹוד יְה וָָ֔ה מָ ל א
אֶ ת־הַ מִּ שְ כָָּֽ ן׃ )לו( ּובְ ה עָל֤ ֹות הֶָּֽ עָ נָן֙
מ עַ ֹ֣ל הַ מִּ שְ כָָ֔ ן יִּסְ ע ּו בְ נ ֹ֣י יִּשְ רָ א ֵ֑ל בְ כ ל
מַ סְ ע יהֶָּֽ ם׃ )לז( וְאִּ ם־ל ַ֥ א י עָלֶ ה הֶ עָ נָ ֵָ֖֑ן
וְל ֹ֣ א יִּסְ עָ֔ ּו עַ ד־י ֹום ה עָ ֹלתָּֽ ֹו׃ )לח( כִּ י֩
עֲנַַ֨ ן יְה וָ ֤ה עַָּֽ ל־הַ מִּ שְ כָן֙ יֹומָָ֔ ם וְא ֵ֕ ש
תִּ הְ יֶ ַ֥ה לַ יְלָה בֵ֑ ֹו לְ ע ינ ַ֥י כׇל־ב ָּֽ ית־
יִּשְ רָ א ל בְ כׇל־מַ סְ ע יהֶָּֽ ם׃
○ We began the book of Exodus with chaos and ambiguity, with oppression and hardship,
with the palpable absence of God’s presence, and with Israel somewhere between a family
and a people, defined only from those who would do Israel harm–Pharaoh and the Egypt.
○ We end with order and safety: Israel a free people; not only that but a beloved people, a
nation of priests, defined by covenant and service to God, by acts of holiness –ritual and
ethical–and who are the inheritors of a great promise. And safety, as God dwells among the
people, God’s presence seemingly hovering over the mishkan, the Tabernacle, or leading
the people forward in their journeys.
○ Israel has constructed a Tabernacle, a place of holiness for themselves, a place where God’s
presence will be made known to them, the Divine Spirit seemingly hovering over it night
and day.
○ The last words of the book tell us that God was there b’chol maseihem–in all their journeys.
So may that be for all of us, that we may move from whatever chaos inserts itself into our
lives to the safety and holiness of feeling God’s presence, and may we share that with
others in all of our journeys. As we do that, may we live the words we will say when Cantor
is done chanting: chazak chazak v’ nitchazek, be strong, be strong and we will be