This week’s parsha contains a very powerful message, especially for me personally. The parsha talks about the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and how it was finally finished! As you know, the Mishkan was the first “LEGO” building ever made since it was constantly taken apart and moved from place to place. When Bnei Yisrael arrived at a certain place, they rebuilt the Mishkan and when it was time to travel, the Mishkan was taken apart and moved to the next place. This went on and on for close to 40 years!
I have just one question. How did Bnei Yisrael know when it was time to move to the next place? Did they decide on their own or was there some sign from Hashem? The parsha gives us the answer. Chapter 9, verse 17 says; “Whenever the cloud rose from the Tent, the Israelites would set out on the march. The Israelites would then camp in the place where the cloud rested. The Israelites would move on at G-d’s bidding and at G-d’s bidding they would remain in one place for as long as the cloud remained on the Mishkan.”
It is very simple to see from these verses that Bnei Yisrael moved according to the sign that Hashem gave them. When He told them to go… they went. When He told them to stop… they stopped. That’s how life was in the desert, over 3,300 years ago, but let me tell you a little secret; It works the same way now!!
Hashem is always sending us signs. In the desert it was easy because you just followed the gigantic cloud. You couldn’t miss it. Today, Hashem is STILL sending us signs but it’s not so easy to see.
The greatest sign Hashem sent the Jewish Nation in the last 2,000 years was in 1948 when Israel became a State! That was a sign for every Jew around the world to go home, to the Land of Israel. Unfortunately, many people did not see that sign but Hashem kept sending more and more signs with the same message; Time to pick up and go. Time to take things apart and rebuild them in a different place… the Land of Israel.
I have to admit that even I did not see that sign for 70 years. Imagine missing a sign that Hashem had been sending for 70 years!! Yet, Baruch Hashem, as you know, I finally understood the message and – like the Israelites in the desert – I followed that sign to Eretz Yisrael. Since arriving there, I must have said “Baruch Hashem” a million times and I have never been happier.
My message to you is very simple. Don’t wait 70 years to do what Hashem wants. If you see the cloud rising – in whatever shape it may be – understand the message and start moving. Because as the parsha continues (verse 23) “They camped at G-d’s word and moved on at G-d’s word, keeping their trust in G-d”. That’s our job… to keep our trust in Hashem.
So keep watching the signs and make sure to move as soon as Hashem says so.