> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Mystical Tour

It's All in the Timing

Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35-40 )

by Rabbi Menachem Weiman

In this week's Torah portion, God says, "On the day of the first new moon, on the first of the month, you shall erect the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting." This refers to Rosh Chodesh Nissan, forever designated as the month relating to the dedication of the Tabernacle, and later the Holy Temple.

Yet we find something strange: The construction was finished in Kislev, several months prior. Why was there a delay between the completion and the dedication? After all, the people had gathered the materials and constructed the Tabernacle with such enthusiasm and excitement. Why should the whole thing sit around unused all that time?

The Midrash says that Isaac was born in Nissan, and therefore God wanted the Tabernacle forever linked to the forefathers. And in order to placate the month of Kislev, so to speak, the Temple was rededicated during the Greek occupation, hence the holiday of Chanukah which we celebrate every Kislev.

This answer is satisfying on one level, but for the truth seeker a question still remains: Why couldn't the Almighty have worked it out that the Jewish people completed the construction right before Nissan? After all, He runs the whole world!

* * *


A similar situation occurred at the beginning of Creation. Nissan is the first of the months, yet Tishrei is the New Year (Rosh Hashana). The Talmudic sages seem to disagree over which was the first month of creation Tishrei or Nissan. The resolution proposed by a group of French sages from the Middle Ages is that in Tishrei the universe was created in potential, like a blueprint. In Nissan, the universe was brought into reality.

In the spiritual realm, timing seems to carry great weight. A famous series of phrases in Ecclesiastes lists poetically times for war, peace, love, hate, etc. Although the words are music to the ears, there is also an underlying spiritual design: There are 28 different "times," which are linked kabbalistically to the 28 days of the lunar month.

Nothing is by accident. If the Tabernacle was built in Nissan, and the Israelites left Egypt in Nissan, and the Temple was rededicated in Kislev, then that's exactly when God wanted these things to happen. Every single second in time - from the beginning of creation until the end of time - is exquisitely designed by the infinitely wise Creator.

* * *


Although Nissan and Tishrei are two different months, half a year apart, since they both manifest an aspect of the creation of the universe, they are actually parallel. In other words, instead of one long year of 12 months, perhaps there are two half-years of six months.

Our hands and fingers are symbols of the Ten Commandments: Are there ten, or are there two parallel sets of five?

Is the Passover Seder a commemoration of an ancient event, or is it a reenactment each year that taps into the time of spiritual freedom?

Each year at the Seder, we should try to feel as if we are the ones leaving Egypt. Sources say that Abraham held his own Passover Seder. If so, then life is a continuous spiral or sphere that we travel through, experiencing again and again. A spiritual influence of freedom has happened since the beginning of time long before the Exodus, and continues to happen every year. Time overlaps.

* * *


And why shouldn't time overlap? After all, for the Infinite Being, there is no time. The future and the past are one. Our mortal brains cannot fathom what this means, but for God, time doesn't exist. He is beyond time. He is infinite.

What this means for us is that when we want to relate to and connect to God, we have to let go a tiny bit of our worldview. We have to be willing to detach from our physicality. During prayer, we should try to experience the dissolution of our physical surroundings. Advanced meditators are able to pull this off.

How can you "let go" of your sensory experiences to tap into God? That is beyond the scope of this Internet essay. In the meantime, think about "letting go."

* * *

Spiritual Exercise:

Let go of your worries.

Let go of your stress.

Let go of anything that's "weighing you down."

Let go of the world, and you'll be able to experience God.

Related Posts

1 2 3 2,911

🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram