In this week’s Parashah (Tetzaveh) in Exodus 27:20-30:10, Adonai tells Moses to take a collection from the people, pure olive oil to ignite the “everlasting flame” of the Menorah in the Mishkan, which Aharon was to kindle every day, “from evening until morning.” Noteworthy, last week in Parashah Terumah, a similar instruction was given where the people were to take up a collection for the Mishkan, and that “from anyone who wholeheartedly wants to give.” (Exodus 25:1) Of this, our potion, the verbiage is more direct and with the opening verse notes,
“You are to order the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pounded olives for the light, and to keep a lamp burning continually. Aharon and his sons are to put it in the tent of meeting, outside the curtain in front of the testimony, and keep it burning from evening until morning before Adonai” (Exodus 27:20-21a)
As with Parashah Terumah last week, where we are reminded that God’s greatest desire is to dwell with and in us, so the “everlasting flame” in the Tabernacle (and on the Ner Tamid) above of the Ark and Torah in every Synagogue reminds the observant of God’s abiding and perfect presence (or Shekinah) in our midst, and that by virtue of the covenant of love He has made with us, Adonai will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)!
From the Apostolic Writings, Yeshua on a deeper level draws on this idea stating, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light that gives life.” (John 8:12) In the end, it is Messiah who alone is our Light and we exist only because His presence is with and in us.
In the hustle and bustle of this life, we can rush so fast though that we forget that the Divine Presence is with us. We love the Lord and we seek to serve Him, but our hectic schedule at times seems to blanket the clouds of His Shekinah. Of our calling to acknowledge and experience Adonai in both eh spiritual and mundane, Chassidic Sage, Ba’al Shem Tov acknowledges that, “Replete is the world with a spiritual radiance, replete with sublime and marvelous secrets. But a small hand held against the eyes hides it all.”
Dear friends, do not cover your eyes or hide you face from the radiance of God’s glory or of Yeshua as the Light of the World, … instead open your eyes and heart wide and take it all in! See Him in His glory and experience His great love for you!
~ Rabbi Mark Rantz
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