"Mama, what is that sound?"
"Hush, little one, go to sleep."
"But mama, I hear something tinkling."
"Yes Mama, like the sound all your bracelets and necklaces used to make jangling together when you wore them - before you gave them to help build the mis...the miks...the mis.."
"Mishkan, little one."
"Mishkan, yes. Mama, do you miss your bracelets and all."
"Why, yes, precious, of course I do. But my gifts to help build this meeting place for this Gd of ours wouldn't have been very good gifts if I didn't miss them."
"I don't understand, Mama. Why does this Gd keeping asking for things that are so important to us?"
"I miss them too, Mama."
"Your bracelets and necklaces."
"You miss them? Why would they be important to you, my child?" "Well....Promise you won't laugh at me Mama?"
"Of course, my little angel, I won't laugh at you. Why do you miss my jewelry so much?"
"They jingled. I miss the jingling."
"You liked the pretty sound they made when they jingled?"
"No, Mama, that's not it. It's how the sound made me feel." "How did it make you feel?" "All warm and good inside. Sometimes, Mama, I would wake up at night and be really scared. You and Papa weren't in the tent with me. But then I could hear the sound of your bracelets tingling and you knew you were right outside. And sometimes, too, when you were gone, I knew you were almost home when I could hear your bracelets jangling. I could always tell their sound from all the other sounds."
"You are such a sweet child. I can see why you do miss my jewelry." "There it is again, Mama!"
"What?" "That tingling sound. It sounds a lot like the sound your jewels used to make."
"I don't hear...oh, wait, yes, there it is. Aha, I know what those are. Those are all the little bells on the hem of Aharon's priestly robe." "Why does he have those bells on his robe?"
"I don't know, precious."
"Maybe it's so everyone knows when he's going into the Mishkan?" "Maybe. Now go back to sleep, little one."
"Yes, dear one. Can't you sleep?"
"Maybe it's so the Gd won't be surprised if Aharon sneaks up on him?"
"The bells, Mama. So he can't surprise the Gd-and maybe even see what he shouldn't see and even...oh, my, he might even get killed. I remember how awesome the Gd was that day when he spoke to us. Didn't the elders ask Moshe to ask the Gd to stop speaking to us, for they were afraid we might die? Maybe Aharon would die if the Gd didn't know he was coming?"
"Little one, I don't know where you get all these ideas and such a curious mind. Now go to sleep."
"Hush now! Go to sleep!"
[Softly, Mama begins to hum a lullaby, one she learned from her own mother while they were still in Egypt. When she senses her child asleep, she stops. Then silence. Then, in the distance, the soft jingling of tiny bells.]
"Mama? I hear the bells again."
"Shh! It's alright. Everything is good. Mama's here."
"I know, Mama. I know what the bells are for. It's just like your bracelets, Mama. When I hear Aharon's bells, I know that the Gd is here with me, near me, even though I can't see or hear or touch. And that makes me feel all warm inside, just like you do, Mama."
"The Gd has done great miracles for us, my little one. And you are one of them. Now go to sleep before I pray to the Gd to turn you into a frog."
"Mama, I think some of the gold from your jewelry must have gone into
"Goodnight, Caleb. And may the Gd bless and curse you with a son as curious as you are!"
I wish you and yours a Shabbat Shalom.
© 2001, 2005 by Adrian A. Durlester
Some previous musings on the same parasha:
Tetzaveh 5764-Shut Up and
Tetzaveh 5763-House Guest
Tetzaveh 5762 (Redux 5760)-The Urim and Thummim Show
Tetzaveh 5758-Something Doesn't Smell Quite Right
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