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Terumah: A Home For God

Image: Mishkan, Holman edition 1890
Image: Mishkan, Holman edition 1890

The Torah devotes one chapter to the creation of the universe and three chapters to the revelation at Mt. Sinai, but thirteen chapters to  the construction of the Mishkan – the tabernacle that the Israelites carried with them in the wilderness.

The Mishkan was the portable sanctuary where God spoke to Moses, and where the Israelites gave sacrifices to express gratitude or atone for sins. But why does it take up more space in the Torah than seemingly more significant events? Because the purpose of building the Mishkan was to create a home for God in this world – and that’s our purpose too!

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that God is everywhere, but isn’t necessarily “at home” everywhere. “Being at home means being in a place that is receptive to your presence, a place devoted to serving your needs and desires, a place where you can be your true, private self.”

May we each do our part to elevate this world into a place where God feels at home!

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