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Parshat Pekudei: Through the cloud to redemption

‘The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of God filled the Tabernacle… When the cloud was raised up from the Tabernacle, the Children of Israel would embark on all their journeys… For the cloud of God was on the Tabernacle by days and fire would be on it by night, before the eyes of all of the children of Israel throughout their journeys’ (Exodus 40: 34-38)

Picture from the parasha
Photo by: YORAM RAANAN
Apparently, the “cloud” (ha’anan, in Hebrew) and the “glory of God” come together as the ultimate symbol of God’s protective presence. With reference to Mount Sinai, the mountain of the two Revelations surrounding the twice-gifted Tablets of the Covenant, the Bible similarly records, “Moses ascended the mountain and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of God rested upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for a six day period. [God] called to Moses on the seventh day from the midst of the cloud… And Moses arrived into the midst of the cloud and ascended the mountain; Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights [receiving God’s Torah]” (Exodus 24:15-18).

God’s “glory,” the Presence of God in this world (as explained by Maimonides in his Guide for the Perplexed), is what Moses is desperately seeking to understand and to effectuate as we see when Moses says: “Show me now Your Glory” (Exodus 33:19).



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