Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
reprinted by permission of FFOZ
Bamidbar - במדבר : “In the wilderness”
Torah : Numbers 1:1–4:20
Haftarah : Hosea 2:1–22
Gospel : John 1-2
Thought for the Week:
(An excerpt from Torah Club)
The inscription over the holy ark in many synagogues reads, “Know before whom
you stand!” Every day and in every moment, whether in a place of prayer or a
common place, it is incumbent upon us to remember the One before whom we stand.
“There is an eye that sees, an ear that hears, and all your deeds are recorded
in a book.” (m.Avot 2:1)
Reverence in the Face of the Sacred
(Based on Torah Club)
Numbers 4:16–20 : Only after the holy furnishings had all been prepared and
covered could the Levites enter the Tabernacle to carry them away. The other
families of the Levites then took down the Tabernacle, its curtains, posts and
planks, and loaded them up in wagons.
The elaborate care with which the elements of the Tabernacle were handled
reflects a heightened level of reverence, wonder and amazement at the reality of
God’s presence. When in the presence of the King, the servants of the king
conduct themselves with the utmost decorum. The careful dismantling and carrying
of the Tabernacle teaches us reverence for God and His holy things.
In many modern versions of our faith, reverence for God has been discarded.
Reverence, awe and wonder have been replaced with ecstatic, emotionally charged
entertainment-worship. Assembly has become a casual affair, more akin to a
social event than an encounter with the Divine. What is perceived as easy access
to Him through Messiah has diminished the holiness of God in our eyes. This
should not be. Messiah’s gift should increase our respect, reverence and sense
of holy fear for God, not diminish it.
Everyone agrees that we should fear God and respect holiness, but in real
terms, what does that mean? How is that translated into our daily lives? Fear of
God and reverence for His sanctity can too easily be relegated to abstraction.
In Judaism, the respect for the sacred is taken seriously even in the
seemingly mundane things of life. Sacred books are handled differently than
other books. A book in which God’s Name is printed is handled reverently. It is
not left face down, under a pile of other books, or lying on the floor. When it
is dropped, it is immediately picked up and reverently kissed. In the synagogue,
when the Torah scroll is removed from the ark, everyone turns to face toward the
word of God.
God’s Name is accorded such sanctity that it is not even spoken.
We would do well to recapture a sense of proper reverence for the things of
God and constantly remind ourselves of whom it is that we stand before.
For we are the hosts of the LORD. We are His army. He commands us to take up
order and rank as He leads us to the Promise of the Ages. He is the ADONAI of
Hosts, and we are His hosts.
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First Fruits of Zion, PO Box 620099, Littleton, CO
Telephone 303 933 2119, Toll-free 800 775 4807, Fax 303 933 0997