This week's Torah portion is a double-wide: Vayekhel-Pekudei, the end of the book of Exodus. At the very end of the portion, and the end of the book, we get a description of the Presence of God resting over the Mishkan, a cloud by day and fire by night.
In this week's d'var at Radical Torah, I focus on that cloud -- how it enabled the ancient Israelites to be aware of the presence of God, and how its absence shapes our spiritual lives:
Today we, too, strive to create our lives so that the Source of All that Is will dwell among us. But we don't have the luxury of seeing God's presence. We have no cloud of smoke or nightly fire. Like our ancestors -- freed from lives of constriction into lives of wide-open possibility -- as we mature we too are continually freed into the occasionally terrifying freefall of our spiritual lives. Our ancestors had to broaden their understanding of God from something they could touch (the Golden Calf) to something they could sense but not directly encounter (the cloud over the Mishkan). We are called to broaden that understanding even further: from something intangible but perceptible to something omnipresent but beyond our ken. We are asked to free ourselves even from dependence on physical manifestations of holy Presence.
Read the whole thing here: Perceiving God. Enjoy!