In the wilderness of Sinai, God spoke to Moses inside the Tent of Meeting, also known as the Mishkan or Tabernacle. Moses entered the Mishkan, where he heard the voice of the Lord from between the two cherubim (usually translated as “angels”) on the ark of testimony. According to Rashi, the voice of God was as loud as it was at Mount Sinai, but this time only Moses could hear it. The sound, although thundering in volume, was completely inaudible to anybody outside the Mishkan.
Why was it necessary for Moses to enter the Mishkan in order to hear the heavenly voice? Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Kagan teaches that a place set aside by God to hear His revelations becomes a place of increased sanctity. If God’s voice and speech had traveled beyond the tent, then the entire world would have become the Tent of Meeting. It may seem like that would be a good thing, but it would actually diminish humanity’s free will. God wants us to serve Him by transforming ourselves and stepping outside of our comfort zone to connect with the Holy One. If God’s voice were everywhere, we wouldn’t have to do anything to hear Him, and we wouldn’t fulfill our mission of making this world a resting place for the Divine Presence.
May we all use our free choice to come closer to God and align our will with His!
Image: Replica of Tabernacle in Timna Park, Israel