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Did spirituality vanish?

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
What happened to spirituality? After standing at the foot of Mount Sinai and receiving the Ten Commandments, why were we given so many mundane instructions? Why are so many verses suddenly dedicated to the boards and the curtains of the MIshkan, to how the menorah was lit, and to the garments of the Kohen Gadol? Do these details really matter?

Our commentators explain that spirituality does not simply descend from heaven automatically. Spirituality demands much effort and continuous work on our part. Our daily routine does not contradict holiness but is the key element for attaining it. These Torah portions about the materials and methods of Mishkan discipline are meant to educate us to keep a permanent daily schedule, developing devotion and commitment in everything we do. In the end, It's the small, repetitive tasks that change us.

Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, once said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks quoted this line and said that what is true in science, in art, and in business is also true in spiritual life. In order to grow spiritually, long-term diligence in adhering to a daily routine is essential. These Torah portions remind us that only through rigorous discipline in ninety-nine percent of what we do can we hope to merit ongoing inspiration in our lives.


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