The torah portion begins with a confusing set of words
“HaShem spoke to Moshe saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering.” (exodus 25:1-2)
If this was truly to be an offering then the words should have said “Give me a trumah” and not “take for me”. The idea that this Trumah or offering was “taken” might imply that it was to be done by coercion. Yet that cannot be the case because the text also tells us “ from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering.”
Yet the concept of giving a gift to G-d is also problematic. As King David says”The earth is HaShem’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;(Psalm 24:1).
So we are left with two questions. Why does the text use the words “take for me an offering” as opposed to “give me an offering”. As well how can anything actually be offered to G-d as all of creation is His.
Furthermore we have a third question as read further in the Parsha;
“They shall make for Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell amidst them” (25:8)
The Midrash Tanchuma, states that G-d desired a sanctuary as “a dwelling place in the lower realms.”
That is even more mysterious as He exists everywhere and at all times.As the angels declare “”Holy, holy, holy is HaShem of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.””( Isaiah 6:3) So how can we create a dwelling lace in our realm of reality? He is already and always has been there.
King Solomon asks the same question from a different direction after he finishes building the Temple;
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You; much less this temple that I have erected.”(I Kings 8:27)
To understand allo this one can turn to a powerful statement by the Rebbe of Kotzk;
“Where is God to be found? ,He asked. His answer was that “He is found In the place where He is given entry. ” His Presence is only revealed in a place that makes room for Him in awareness.
Therefore since all things belong to G-d,when Hashem says ;
“Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering ( Exodus 25:2), He is saying let them take from what is “Mine” to bring me an offering . Yet the essence of that offering is actually found in the following words” from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering” The true offering is the generous heart. When the people will be inspired and will yearn to bring Me an offering then it is that yearning that will be treasured. It is in that yearning that these mortals are making room for HaShem to enter. This is how the verse “They shall make for Me a sanctuary and I will dwell amidst them” is fulfilled.
That eternal House of Prayer will be re-established just as it was declared by Moshe at the Red sea” You shall bring them and plant them on the mount of Your heritage, directed toward Your habitation, which You made, O Lord; the sanctuary, O Lord, [which] Your hands founded. “. Just as it was later repeated and confirmed by the prophets Isaiah ( 2:3) , Micah ( 4:1) and Ezekiel (38-40). Yet all this will happen when “The world will be filled with the knowledge of HaShem like water covering the sea( Isaiah 11:9)At that point we will all yearn for the same thing and that yearning will open the gates in the Heavens.It is in that opening of our hearts that we make room for Him in our awareness and bring Him the ultimate offering. It is in that yearning that there will be room for for G-d’s sanctuary and prayer house for the whole world.
On that day “I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”( Isaiah 56:7)