March 8, 2021 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah)- P'kudei

"This Moses did; just as the Lord commanded him, so he did." (Exod 40:16). This is an interesting declarative statement in Parshah P'kudei. Moses follows instructions. There comes a time when you have to follow orders. Not in the sense of not thinking - an excuse laid to rest at Nuremberg. But in the sense that you've made an agreement with your eyes open and now someone else is calling the shots This could describe a student who enrolls for a course, a person who takes a job, or - as with Moses - someone who has entered into a covenant with God. There is a time for discussion and negotiation and objection, and there is a time to do. Modern Jews are very good at the first part, but not so good at doing as commanded, and the fault may be one of education more than attitude. Modern Jews often want to know the "why" of a commandment, and we may not always know. Often we fall short. Yet simply by learning and making the effort to comply, we express our commitment to the covenant and to God. Instead of focusing on where you fall short of the standard established by Moses, start defining your own standard as a Jew by moving in the direction of fulfilling God's commands. Think of it as an ongoing process rather than as the success or failure of compliance.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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