Hazy Clarity

Kli Yakar Exodus: Pekudai

Hazy Clarity

The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.” Henri-Frédéric Amiel

The modern world is fond of absolutes (and I am not referring to the vodka brand by that name). People like to be absolutely sure that the course of action they are engaging will turn out as promised. Hence the success of both fast food establishments and processed food, amongst a host of modern developments. A certain consistency, predictability, is built into a processed chicken part that looks eerily like the next and the next and the next.

Thankfully, in our inefficient world, there are daily reminders of the vagrancy and fickleness of those that attempt to provide us with goods or services. A service man who promises to come in half an hour arrives four hours later, or four days later, or not at all. If we would hold all and everyone around us to the standard of perfection, human endeavor would come to a screeching halt.

There is little in life, whether relationships, efforts or dreams that we can see with absolute clarity. And apparently that is by design.

The Kli Yakar makes an interesting observation at the end of the Book of Exodus (40:34). The Divine Presence descends onto the newly constructed Tabernacle. It is surrounded by a cloud. According to the Kli Yakar, the cloud is there to enable us to see God. It is impossible for mortals to see the clear, unobstructed vision of God. Hence, a haze is required in order to enable our perceiving the Divine Presence.

May we enjoy the haze of our reality, which enables us to experience it.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the occurrences of haze and heavy fog of Gush Etzion. It reminds me that sometimes you don’t know what’s right around the corner…

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