God is shadowing us (Pekudei)
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.-Robert Louis Stevenson
The main architect, the main builder of the Tabernacle was a young man by the name of Betzalel. The name Betzalel literally means “in the shadow of God.” The Midrash tells the tale of Betzalel’s extreme insightfulness as to the meaning behind God’s instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle. He was so insightful that Moses asks of him in wonder “were you in the shadow of God, that you know all of this?”
The Berdichever flips the wordplay around and explains that it is God that is in our shadow. Just as whatever act we do, our shadow mimics, so too with God. Any act that we do, God will mimic upon us. If we are kind to others, God will be kind to us. If we are cruel or indifferent to others, God will likewise be cruel or indifferent to us.
The Berdichever advises us further of the need to think well before we speak or act, for God does take note. We should never think that what we say or do has no meaning. The words we use, the actions we take are significant, they are impactful, they can heal or hurt, build or destroy. And whichever path we choose, God will make sure that we will reap the consequences of our actions.
It will be a natural reaction that we will be rewarded in kind for the good that we do, and that likewise, we will be punished measure for measure for the evil that we commit. God is shadowing us. He is watching and replicating our every word and act upon us. It may not be obvious to us, but it is as unmistakable and as undeniable as our very shadow copying our every move.
May we be cognizant of the words we use and the things that we do. May they be worthy of God’s “shadowing” and may we be the beneficiaries of only goodness and kindness.