Let God’s Word Guide Us
Yael Eckstein | February 17, 2021
“The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.” — Exodus 25:15
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Terumah, which means “contributions,” from Exodus 25:1–27:19.
When Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon went into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, he brought a tiny Torah scroll that had been given to a Jewish boy for his bar mitzvah — in a death camp during the Holocaust. Ramon explained that taking the Torah into space showed the world that a person can go from the deepest depths to the highest heights. However, I think there is another meaning to Ramon’s symbolic act — whether we are at the depths of our lives or enjoying the peak moments, the Bible is equally relevant to our lives. God’s Word guides us through every circumstance.
In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about the Ark of the Covenant. The Holy Ark contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the first Torah scroll penned by Moses. Moreover, God communicated from the space between the two golden cherubs that stood atop the Ark. The Holy Ark was the embodiment of God’s Word to His people.
God’s Word Sustains Us
Like the other ritual objects used in the Tabernacle, the Ark had golden loops through which poles could be inserted in times of travel, making it portable. However, unlike the other items, God commanded that the poles never be removed. Even during times of rest, the poles were to remain in place.
The Jewish sages explain that the reason for this injunction was to demonstrate that the Bible, as represented by the Ark, is “portable.” While the other ritual objects of the Tabernacle were completely lost to us over time, the Bible has accompanied us through millennia and around the world. The message is that the Bible is eternally relevant and always applicable to our lives. God’s Word is what guides us and sustains us in our own lives today.
In hard times, we can lean on the Bible for strength and direction. In good times, we can count on the Bible to keep us humble, faithful, and obedient. God’s Word guided our ancestors through thousands of years, and we pray that it will lead future generations in creating a better world.
No matter where we go or what we do, and no matter how times have changed, the Bible is a constant in our lives. It is always here for us — providing insight, comfort, inspiration, and direction. All we need to do is open it!
Which verse (or verses) from the Bible might you keep in mind today in order to help you serve God and be your best? Share in the comments below!