This week's Torah portion is Beha'alotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16. One of the singular features of this portion is the description of the clouds of glory which signaled God's presence in the Tabernacle, found in Chapter 9, verses 15 through 23.
According to our text, Moses would raise
the Tabernacle when the Israelites encamped, and as soon as it was
complete, the cloud would come to rest upon it, with the appearance of a
pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When it was time
for the tribes to move on, the cloud would move, they would pack up the
tabernacle and move. When it remained, they stayed, whether it was for
one day, one week, or one year. The Israelites, so recently enslaved
in Egypt, were saved from having to make the decision of where to go
while waiting to enter the Promised Land. They simply trusted in God
and followed the pillar of cloud where it would lead them.
days, we have a cloud in cyberspace that organizes our music, pictures,
documents and movies, and distributes them among our many iToys. The
Israelites in the wilderness had one that was even more miraculous. As
long as they trusted God's judgment, they were cared for. When they
start to doubt it - well, that's a story for next week's Torah portion.