These are remarkable times: traumatic, painful, isolating. But they are also remarkable for the self-sacrifice, compassion, creativity and dedication to others shown by so many.
Our Torah reading this week is from VaYakel/Pekudey. It is a double portion that describes the making of the ritual objects used in the Tabernacle. With the work complete but before the people have been instructed on the building of the Tabernacle, all is brought to Moses for inspection.
Moses sees all the work. He sees all the work. Not merely the equipment, but its fastening, beams, crossbars, and pillars. What the Torah does not list—the parts and pieces, the steps and guidelines—is implied. And what is implied is that all is included. All of creativity. All of creation.
This past year, we have been witness to the best of humanity through unprecedented creativity. From our healthcare professionals, grocery store employees, delivery folk, restaurant staff, and communal service workers. In our Jewish community, from agency staff, rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, donors, and participants. All of these people—all of us as a community, together—have brought about what we may, in hindsight, recognize as a renaissance in how we care for others, how we worship and learn, how we transmit ideas, and how we engage in dialogue. All of which should take nothing away from what is an equally consequential sense of loss.
In this week’s expanded Torah portion, Moses saw all the work, and he blessed all the workers. In a world with no Moses, let us be that voice and let us thank all the workers for all the work. May they, and may we all, be blessed.