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The Building of the Mishkan

וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃

And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.

The commandment in Parshat Terumah to build the Mishkan, a sanctuary for God, where He will dwell among Bnei Yisrael, is a powerful reminder of the importance of creating physical space for spiritual practice. On a deeper level, the construction of the Mishkan, and later the Bet HaMikdash, represents the creation of a sacred space where we can connect with God and experience His presence. This space serves as a reminder of the importance of dedicating time and space to our spiritual lives, even amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily routines.

Furthermore, the construction of the Mishkan was a collective effort, with each member of the community contributing their skills, talents, and resources to the project. This teaches us the value of community in spiritual practice, and the importance of working together towards a common goal.

According to Rashi, even though God is present everywhere, the pasuk teaches us that His presence is especially manifest in the Mishkan. Therefore, He commanded the Bnei Yisrael to build it to increase their merit and reveal His presence in an appropriate manner.

In other words, the construction of the Mishkan, while not necessary to enable God to dwell among the people, provided a special space for His presence to be felt. This heightened awareness of God would help Bnei Yisrael develop a closer relationship with Him.

Sforno comments that the commandment to build the Mishkan was given to show Bnei Yisrael that the ultimate goal of their redemption from Egypt was to serve God and to create a holy space where He could be worshiped.

Sforno goes on to explain that God will be present in the Mishkan in a special way, which will be evident to those who enter it. He will hear their prayers and respond to them, and they will feel a sense of awe and reverence in His presence. The construction of the Mishkan was a way for the people to fully embrace their spiritual identity and demonstrate their commitment to serving God. The Mishkan would serve as a place of encounter with God, where they could offer prayers and sacrifices and experience His presence in a tangible way.

We can apply these teachings in our own lives by setting aside a physical space in our homes for prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices. We can also prioritize our spiritual lives and make time for daily practice, just as Bnei Yisrael dedicated themselves to building the Mishkan.



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