I'm trying to be prepared, for once. Taking the time on Sunday night to sit still and THINK. (Insert Pooh Bear clip, with eyebrows knitting and a paw tapping the side of his head. Think. Think Think.)
On the eighth day, Moses said, bring a bunch of livestock, 'cause you're gonna see God. And the people were all like, "what?" And they brought the animals, exactly as prescribed. And Aaron lit it all up, like he was supposed to, but God still didn't show up. And then Moses and Aaron were like, "fuck!" and they both went inside the tent and had a little tête-á-tête with God. And then God was like, "Okay, jeez, you made this whole big tent thing for me and all the dolphins skins and shit. Fine. I'll come down." And the people totally freaked out and fell on their faces.
Then we get some strict lessons: don't enter the Mishkan while drunk; don't eat the shrimp or the pork, or camels or alligators, or centipedes (knock yourself out with the grasshoppers though!); and, uh, don't touch the ark. Yeah. You'll die.
All these RULES. Dude, you're killing me with the details and the rules. Can't we just stick to the good stuff, like don't kill your neighbor, and hang on to his ox if you see it wandering around? Don't put a stumbling block in front of a blind man, 'cause that's just fucking evil. No, you've gotta remind me again about the Red Heifer and how we'll never be pure again, really until we find one and turn it into ash. Dude. C'mon. Weren't the Israelites enough of a hard sell after You had your way with the Egyptians?
And yet there's this outlandish leap of faith we're supposed to take. For them it's putting their lives in the hands of a God who seems a little fickle and weird, with crazy instructions and details that are so convoluted even Aaron and Moses have to have a moment to figure out if something was wrong (who ate the sin offering and where?). For us now, it's just about believing. That's the leap of faith.
For me, it's about trusting.