Divrei Torah

PARSHAS TERUMA 5777

This week’s parsha deals with building a house for G-d - the construction of the Mishkan – the Tabernacle. The Torah writes a list of items to be donated by the Jewish people. At the end of the list, G-d tells the Jewish people, “And make for Me a Mikdash – a holy sanctuary - and I will dwell in them.”

Now, the purpose of the Mishkan is to make a so-to-speak dwelling place for G-d in this world and the Jewish people were commanded to make one tabernacle. Therefore, the Torah should have written “and I will dwell in it – the Mishkan - singular”. Why does the Torah state “I will dwell in them.” How many Tabernacles were they commanded to make?

It seems as though the word “among them” does not refer to the Mishkan. Rather, it refers to the masses of the Jewish nation – those individuals who make up the Jewish people. Each person needs to make a sanctuary in his or her own heart. The sanctuary is a manifestation of G-d’s essence, and we are meant to translate this essence into our hearts and actions. Making a Mikdash is more than just building a building for holy purposes. Making a Mikdash is also building a person for holy purposes.