The past week’s parsha is Pekudei and is the final parsha of the Book of Exodus. This week’s parsha spends a lot of time acting as a manual. It is not a manual for how we should live our lives but rather how we should go about building the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting. The parsha goes into explicit detail of how it should be built and eventually look; here is but one example “the ephod was made of gold, blue, purple and crimson yarns and fine twisted linen. They hammered out sheets of gold and cut threads to be worked into designs among the blue, the purple, and the crimson yarns, and the fine linen” (Exodus 39:2-3).

The parsha also is the point at which Aaron and his sons are anointed as the high priests of the Israelites (i.e. when the Kohanim were established). In Judaism there are 3 ‘levels’; the Israelites (the common people), the Levites (the Priests) and the Kohanim (the High Priests). In the 21st century these classifications don’t mean much (except for getting called up to read the Torah and the Kohanim ‘duchaning’ on the 3 major festivals) but back in biblical times these levels meant everything. The Kohanim were the only ones allowed to actually make the sacrifices and enter the Holy of Holies. It was basically your social status and standing.

Returning back to the idea of the parsha being a manual for building Tabernacle, my question for the week is do we in Habo have such a document that can help us build a magnificent, intricate and special movement? The answer: yes we do! It’s called the Constitution. The Constitution is a document that includes every recent decision that we as a movement have collectively made. It is our ideal movement on paper. One can ask then: if we have this instruction manual to creating an ideologically strong and grand movement how come we aren’t there yet? The answer in my opinion is that whilst we say these big things on camp the reality is that when we return home we don’t actively make choices in our life and in the movement to get us to that place that we envisaged on paper.

What do we need to do to get there? It’s simple really. All we need to do is realise that the movement is a year –round thing, not just the 2-3 weeks we spend on camp. The answer is that we need to be active throughout the year and strive to make this movement as amazing as we have it on paper. We need to be committed to collectively drive the movement (and not just relying on the Movement Work tzevet). The reality is that many of you will read this, quite possibly agree, but then go back to not being actively involved (and then complain about the state of the movement).

This is a call to action to all of you! Be involved! Stand up and take on tafkidim! Be in a tzevet and lead on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly basis! If you get a call asking if you can do something, do it. This is how we will build a better and stronger movement. This is how we will be able to properly utilise our instruction manual. This is how we grow and expand. This is how we take collective responsibility!

Don’t just wait for a call from the Movement Workers. If you are passionate about something and you think that the movement could be a vehicle for doing that thing, grab some friends and do something! Look at Mifgash! The whole thing was created by 3/4 madrichim almost completely autonomously. The movement is a great structure to do amazing things, make sure that you utilise it whilst you still can!

Aleh Ve’Hagshem,