A Powerful Awareness (Parshas Insights, Sages of Mussar – Vayakhel)

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On Yom Kippur Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the Second Tablets, signifying Hashem’s forgiveness for the sin of the golden calf. On the day following Yom Kippur Moshe assembled the entire nation and charged them with the building of the Tabernacle. At the conclusion of Moshe’s address-The entire assembly left Moshe’s presence (Shemos 35:20).

Since we already knew that Klal Yisrael was standing in Moshe’s presence, the Torah should have simply stated that the people returned to their dwellings. What is the import of the words left Moshe’s presence?

Even after B’nai Yisrael completed their learning session with Moshe and returned to their homes-the impact of learning with Moshe was etched into their souls. Wherever they went and whatever they did the flame of Moshe’s holiness burned in their hearts. That they had learned Torah from the holy mouth of Moshe was apparent in their elevated conduct. So intense was Moshe’s influence, that even after they left him-it was as if they were, even now, still before him.

The Talmud (86b) teaches: “And you should love the L-rd, your G-d-that the name of Heaven be beloved because of you. If someone studies Torah and Mishneh, and attends on the Torah scholars, is honest in business, and speaks pleasantly to people, what do people say about him? Happy is his father who taught him Torah, happy is the teacher that taught him Torah; woe unto the people who have not studied Torah; for this man has studied Torah-look how fine are his ways and how righteous are his deeds.”

The Torah gives us the wisdom and refinement to bring light into the world. If we keep the good influence of our teachers and the holy words of Torah close to our heart-we will elevate, inspire, and sanctify our lives, as well as, all the souls around us (Darchei Mussar, Parshas Vayakhel  in the name of the Saba M’Kelm).

Today: Perform your next task with the holiness as if you just left Moshe’s presence.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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