Plenty of Nothing

Categories: Parsha, Pekudei
Illustration of an older man tailoring a blue shirt against an orange watercolor background.

Art by Sefira Lightstone


I’ve got nothing.

So this week I’m in a bit of a conundrum. There is lots going on from a Jewish perspective (we conclude the Book of Exodus, we are about a week away from Purim) and the Parsha – Pekudei – is pretty repetitious. A few weeks ago, Moses is commanded by G-d to build the Tabernacle, last week we talk about how Moses conveys it to the Jewish people and this week we give the full accounting and discuss the completion of the actual work. So what’s new? What stands out as special or unique to write about? I’m actually pretty stumped. So yes, I could deviate completely and talk about some of those other things or just delve into the state of the world today but, really? Is there nothing unique here to share?

Then I realized, therein lies the lesson. How much of what we do seems completely monotonous? How many times do we do something that feels like it’s a scene out of Groundhog Day? Over and over again we stop at the same place for lunch or get the same order of coffee. We tell the same story or anecdote. And yes, it begins to feel repetitive. We almost think (as they do in any given movie that plays out this scenario) “let’s change it up! Do something exciting! Be completely spontaneous and throw caution in the wind!” All great ideas and, trust me, there is room for such things. But let this Parsha serve as a lesson. There are treasures to be found in the regularities. There are gems amongst those routine events that may require a little seeking but are there nonetheless. Don’t discount something just because you can almost do it in your sleep, rather look for the uniqueness in each moment. It’s definitely in there somewhere. After all, it just gave me what to write about. Good Shabbos!

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