Leviticus 9:1–11:47 * 2 april – 8 april
A Portion of the Torah Portion of this Week:
The name of the Parshah, “Shemini,” means “eighth” and it is found in Leviticus 9:1.
וַיְהִי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֔י קָרָ֣א מֹשֶׁ֔ה לְאַהֲרֹ֖ן וּלְבָנָ֑יו וּלְזִקְנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
On the eighth day, of the installation rites, the 1 Nissan 2449, after erecting the Mishkan and performing all the rites he was commanded to perfrom himself, Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel.
During the first seven days of the inauguration of the Mishkan, Moses erected the Mishkan every day, offered the sacrifices Hashem had instructed him to offer himself and then dismantled the Mishkan again. The Divine Presence did not descend and reveal itself, no fire came from heaven to burn the sacrifices.
I imagine it must have been frightening for people somewhere. The Mishkan was supposed to be the symbol of Hashem’s forgiveness for the sin with the golden calf, and after 7 days nothing had actually happened, the Shechinah had not yet appeared.
Moses reassured the people. The 7 days represent the natural events of the world, the preparations that man can do, the 8 day represents the spiritual, which will be the day when the Shechinah would return to the people and come into the Mishkan.
But initially, nothing happened. Aaron was afraid that Hashem had not yet fully forgiven him for his part in the golden calf, but Moses reassured him.
Let’s pray intensively, he suggested to Aaron.
And Moses and Aaron went into the Ohel Mo’ed – the Tent of Meeting – and prayed with all their hearts, that the Shechinah may rest on all the work we have done for the Mishkan. That was the moment when the heavenly fire moved onto the golden Altar on which the incense was burned, it moved out inot the courtyard of the Mishkan onto the copper Altar and consumed the sacrifeces that had been offered there and then the Shechinah was back with the people.
What can we learn from this?
We see here an important lesson about the power and importance of prayer.
As long as the people, or Aaron still thought Hashem was angry with them and that’s why the Shechinah didn’t come there was some kind of thought somewhere that Hashem was not good. People had done so much to build the Mishkan, they had repented, and now, hadn’t all that been enough?
But Hashem is good to all. That is an aspect that a person should take with him in his prayer, that Hashem is good and does good and gives man what he needs. Whether that is health, livelihood or in this case the return of the Shechinah.
When the people saw that the Shechinah was returning, there was peace in their hearts. The reconciliation between the people and Hashem was a fact.
So may we know that we may pray to Hashem for everything, for health, livelihood, peace in the home, peace in the world.
All this will lead to the peace of Hashem emanating from the Third Temple, which will make it “thw wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid…they shall not harm or destroy…for ther will be peace between them. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
By Angelique Sijbolts
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