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The Important Thing

The taxi driver, Meir Cohen, shared with me yesterday, as we were driving through the streets of Jerusalem, the following idea about this week's Portion:

In the Book of Bereshit (Genesis) the Torah dedicates less than 40 verses to the description of the Creation of the world. Now, in the Book of Shemot (Exodus), the Torah dedicates 400 verses (!) just for the description of the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). This gap does not make sense. Why is the description of the Creation of the world so short, whereas that of the building of the spiritual center of the Nation in the desert so long? And this is the explanation, said Meir: In the world there are science and nature books which describe the world. This is not the Torah's purpose. The Torah deals with us, with Man; not with the description of Creation, but with our purpose, with what we human beings must do, build, create, as well as with what we must be careful of and avoid. This is the central thing. From the Mishkan and up until today, the focus is not distant places, but instructions, directives: our actions in the world.

Just before we reached our destination, Meir added: The important thing is not to describe what G-d did, but that which we will do.


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