The Tabernacle constituted the continuation of the revelation at Sinai, according to R’ Munk. Once the Tabernacle was completed by Moshe, a cloud covered it and the Glory of G-d filled the Tabernacle. He would no longer reveal Himself publicly but only in the recesses of this place.
R’ Munk added that the expression “the Glory of G-d” referred to the sacred light created by G-d when His glory rested in a particular place and makes His presence known.That light is called “shechina” or “kavod”.It filled the Tabernacle and Moshe could not enter without being formally invited by G-d.
R’ SR Hirsch wrote that Moshe returned to be among the people so that it would be clear that the nation had offered this work to G-d and that G-d would dwell in the Tabernacle for the nation.
The pillar of cloud would be on the Tabernacle by day, and fire would be on it by night “before the eyes of all the House of Israel”. R’ Munk wrote that the cloud could be seen face to face by the prophetically inspired and by all the people of Israel,young and old, men and women alike.This vision implied a degree of knowledge beyond simple belief.After the Tabernacle had been erected, the Israelites at last attained a level of maturity where their faith in G-d had grown into “knowledge” supported by what they saw with their own eyes.The sight of the Divine had become very real to them.
A panel on the ABC this week pitted Richard Dawkins against people of faith, including the psychiatrist, Pat Mcgorry.They addressed the issue of the shared collective experience of revelation and faith being part of accepted normal experience. In this parasha, there is a record of an experience witnessed by our ancestors and passed on to us. We do not normally have revelatory experiences of this nature, but our faith can be sustained by studying the record here in the Torah.