HLM Banner HLM banner

It’s All in the Details

It’s All in the Details

“These are the measurements of the altar in long cubits, that cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth: Its gutter is a cubit deep and a cubit wide, with a rim of one span around the edge. And this is the height of the altar: From the gutter on the ground up to the lower ledge that goes around the altar it is two cubits high, and the ledge is a cubit wide. From this lower ledge to the upper ledge that goes around the altar it is four cubits high, and that ledge is also a cubit wide.” — Ezekiel 43:13–14

The Torah portion for this week is Tetzaveh, which means “command” or “connect,” from Exodus 27:20–30:10, and the Haftorah is from Ezekiel 43:10–27.

This week’s Haftorah reading is taken from the book of Ezekiel where the prophet describes the Third Temple that, according to Jewish tradition, will be built in the messianic era. While the Torah portion described the First Temple, Ezekiel describes the Temple at the end of time.

When you read both texts from Exodus and Ezekiel, we can’t help but notice the plethora of details that must be taken into account. God left very little room for interpretation, specifying the exact dimension, materials, and placement of the Temple furnishings. In fact, tradition teaches that when God showed Moses the divine blueprint for the Temple menorah, Moses had to go back for clarification several times in order to get every detail right!

Why all the details? Couldn’t God have given us more general instructions without bogging us down with so many nuances and specifications?

This reminds me of an exchange I once read about between a teacher and a student. The student emailed his teacher in order to get something off his chest. He wanted to understand why there are so many rules and details when it comes to Jewish worship of God. “Does God really care about all of these small details?” he wondered. Then he added, “I already sent you this email once before. Could it be that I have stumped you?”

The teacher’s reply began like this: “Yes, I did get your first email, and no, you have not stumped me. You see, when I replied to you, I left out the ‘dot’ in the ‘dot com’ part of your address. It’s just a small detail, so I figured it wouldn’t matter much.”

The teacher was telling his student in a very practical way that, yes, details do matter. Whether they are tiny computer chips or ingredients in a recipe, small details often determine the whole outcome of things. Any detail given to us by God may not always be understandable to us, but that does not diminish its importance. So as we read these verses in Scriptures, we are to cherish and value them no less than the verses that move us deeply.

Attention to detail is something that often gets overlooked in our fast-paced, productivity-focused society. But slow down a bit – at least when it comes to serving God. Say the words of your prayers thoughtfully and slowly. In helping a stranger, go the extra mile and add that special touch. The slightest addition on our part may have the largest impact on God.


Hebrew Word of the Day

March 10, 2017

— It’s All in the Details


We Care, We Are Here, We Help

One of The Fellowship’s greatest advantages is being on the ground in Israel, allowing us to understand the intricate and subtle needs of Israel’s most vulnerable populations.

Monthly Teaching Resource

Keep Moving Up

When a Jewish family moves to Israel, we refer to it in Hebrew as “making aliyah.” Aliyah means “ascent.” Moving to Israel is seen as ascending spiritually.

How to Help

Your Gift Matched!

Anti-Semitism is on the rise — no person should experience fear and hatred because of their faith. Right now, you have a God-given opportunity to DOUBLE your gift towards our next Freedom Flight from Ukraine scheduled for October 28th. A generous partner has offered to match up to $100,000 to help more vulnerable Jews immigrate to the safety and freedom of Israel. Your holy impact today will be DOUBLED to help twice as many lives escape violence, anti-Semitism, extreme poverty and to start a new life in the Holy Land.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.