Being Mindful of Others
Trumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19 )
Moses is given detailed instructions on how to construct the Tabernacle, a ‘dwelling place’ for God.
Looking deeper at the structure of the Tabernacle itself, we are able to learn beautiful messages that teach nuances in the art of kindness.
The Chizkuni writes that the Ark, which consisted of a wooden layer, sandwiched between two layers of gold, should really have been made entirely of gold. Not making it entirely of gold was out of sensitivity to the Levites who would be carrying it on their shoulders, and therefore lightened their burden.
Furthermore, the Chizkuni explains another message, this time from the brass altar. This altar was placed near the entrance. The poles were therefore removed out of sensitivity to people that had to pass it, in order not to inconvenience them with the protruding rods.
These two details would have been so easy to overlook! But are teaching us powerful messages in thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
How mindful are we of others?
Do we leave ‘poles’ protruding? Sometimes an extra metre forward or backwards can be the difference between another car having space to park in the bay, or having to find somewhere else.
Are we mindful of the weight of the items when someone is picking up shopping for us, or transporting something on our behalf?
The practical applications that we can learn are many. Putting something back in the place from which it was removed, emptying a bin just filled, or filling a coffee machine emptied.
Proactively making others lives that bit easier, by placing a name plaque on the front door to aid those trying to find the address, or even just a larger number to make it clearer for those driving.
Let’s keep other people at the forefront of our minds and be forward thinking about the needs of others. .
(Torah ideas from the Chizkuni are adapted from Love your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)