[First posted on The Times of Israel: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/temple-fast-pass/]
Ibn Ezra Exodus: Vayakhel
“People don’t go there anymore. It’s too crowded.” -Yogi Berra
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida is the world’s most visited attraction with 17 million annual visitors to that park alone. Disney has four theme parks, two water parks, twenty-four themed resorts, five golf courses and more, manned by 66,000 employees, all in the Orlando area.
Because of the incredible masses of people going through their doors, Disney World has become expert at crowd control. There is entertainment while one waits on line. There are “Fast-Pass” options for the discerning visitor. There are strategies for navigating the rides and lines in optimal time. There are books on strategies for beating the lines. There are websites that outdo the popular books with even newer strategies and analysis to maximize the precious time one has in the dream land of Disney.
However, looking more closely at the numbers gives the Magic Kingdom a daily average attendance of merely 40,000. The Tabernacle in the desert had 600,000 men descending upon it on the same day. There wasn’t enough space there for all of them!
Ibn Ezra on Exodus 35:20 explains very simply that they came in smaller groups and each group took its turn. It seems we had crowd control even back then.
May we join crowds and wait on lines only for truly positive things (or extremely fun rides).
To my in-laws, lovers of all things Disney.