Embracing Our New Beginnings
Yael Eckstein | June 4, 2020
When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils. — Numbers 7:1
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Naso, which means “count,” from Numbers 4:21–7:89.
At the end of every day, I like to take a few moments for reflection. I take note of the things that went well and thank God for my blessings and successes. I recognize incidents that could have gone better and try to learn from my mistakes. Some days are more challenging, and others are amazingly wonderful, but all days come to an end. No matter what has happened on any given day, I look forward to the next one, knowing that each morning brings a fresh start with infinite possibilities.
In this week’s Torah reading, we learn that “Moses finished setting up the tabernacle…” According to Jewish teachings, the Hebrew word chosen by Scriptures for “finished,” kalot, can also mean “bride.” A bride is a symbol of new beginnings because a woman begins a new life upon getting married.
Why would a word that seemingly points to beginnings be used in describing the action of completing a task? Our tradition teaches that while the word kalot described the end of building the Tabernacle, it also pointed to a new beginning.
The moment Moses completed the Tabernacle marked the start of a new era. For the first time in human history, God had a home on earth and dwelled among the people. It was the conclusion of one segment in history and the ushering in of a new chapter for humanity.
In the same way, our lives are dotted with many significant endpoints that are simultaneously new beginnings. Every day, every week, and every year comes to an end. Sometimes relationships, jobs, or our time living in a certain place, may end. Seasons of our lives, and our children’s lives, start and finish, constantly changing and evolving.
The key is to gracefully let go of what has ended and gratefully embrace what is just starting. Every end is a chance to let go of the things that no longer serve us, that hold us back in life, or cause us needless pain. Every end is an opportunity to take all the positive, instructive, and joyful moments and infuse them into our next chapter. Every end is a new beginning brimming with potential for a brighter and better future.
Your turn: What ending in your life right now is the beginning of a new chapter? Share how you plan to embrace this new opportunity.