“Two men, both depressed, are conversing under Brunelleschi’s newly constructed dome. One of them lists a number of traditional remedies for low spirits, wine, music, the company of women, and exercise. But, to these he adds a new remedy; the contemplation of giant hoists of the kind Brunelleschi had devised to raise his creation. “ On The Tranquility of The Soul
The man finds more joy in contemplating Brunelleschi’s brilliant hoists than in what was the largest and most magnificent dome in the world. He found more in the genius of the work rather than the result. Would he have found the same joy in contemplating the Mishkan? It was less magnificent than Brunelleschi’s Dome, but he did not seem intrigued by the magnificence of the dome.
He contemplated the brilliance necessary to construct the dome. The genius of the Mishkan was hidden, for it was spiritual brilliance that infused the building and its vessels. There were no giant hoists or mechanical marvels functioning on perfectly placed cogged wheels.
No, I imagine that people did not spend hours contemplating the structure of the Mishkan. I picture them far more intrigued by God’s fire burning on the Altar, and the cloud that hovered above the Mishkan.
They were not contemplating genius, but their relationship with God with its sense of infinite possibility.
When I lifted my Tefillin this morning, I contemplated their outside. The inside is enclosed, but I know what is there. My Tefillin afford me the same opportunity to savor my relationship with God.
I kept this in mind as I prepared my wife’s Shabbat candles. They are beautiful, but their power is not in their beauty, but in the relationships they reflect; our relationship to each other, and our relationship with God. It is in that that I find the Tranquility of My Soul.
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