Moshe and the children of Israel prophetically break out into song after the miraculous redemption from Egypt and the dramatic crossing of 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.
It is no wonder then that the Torah portions that are read after the momentous experience of mount Sinai , focus on the building of a “sanctuary ” for G-d’s perceived Presence.
Clearly G-d does not need a house as King Solomon himself declares “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.
Yet we hear that this house will be an integral part of G-d’s plan. It is a house and dwelling place that all the leaders and people of Israel will strive to prepare;
“I will not give sleep to my eyes Or slumber to my eyelids, Until I find a place for the LORD, A dwelling place( Mishkan) for the Mighty One of Jacob ( Psalm 132 ).”
Such an appointed place would be an affirmation of G-d’s imminent Presence in our reality. It would be the place where G-d’s glory would be more easily felt and experienced.
Yet it is unusual that the portions describing this revolutionary new concept of G-d’s interaction with man begins with the words;
And HaShem spoke unto Moshe, saying: ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for Me an offering; of every man whose heart maketh him willing ye shall take My offering.'” (Exodus 25: 1-2)
The Admor of Chabad asks why begin with the voluntary gifts of men if in fact this place was a destined pre-determined factor of our physical and spiritual reality. why begin with the acts of mortals when in fact we are discussing the dramatic appearance of a new revealed spiritual reality,” Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.( Exodus 40 ; 34)
Yet such a “spiritual reality” seems to necessitate a situation wherein mankind chooses to become a vessel for that experience.
Hashem wants us to participate in His creation. As Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk declared, “Man is the language of G-d.” Hashem uses us to represent Him, to reveal Him and to dispense His light. When we truly understand that role and burden, then Hashem’s presence “finds”a home. That home “rests” in our actions.”And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell within them.” (Exodus 25:8)
It is so tragic that this week represents the loss of two outspoken voices of God’s language. The minister Uri Orbach Z’Lwho through his words and sweet heart was able to melt away opposition and remove all walls. This week ,tragically his voice was silenced buy illness. Ten years ago another powerful voice was silenced as well . The first piece I wrote a decade ago for Arutz 7 was a memorial for another powerful and world changing voice who also succumbed to illness on this same week, Adir Zik Z’L. Adir became our voice, our conscience and our cry during those insane frenetic and dangerous Oslo “peace plan”: years. When we lost hope he returned it, when we lost passion he expressed it.
When voices as powerful as these two men become silenced our response cannot be muted sadness. We must raise our voices as well. We need to speak out, to write and to pray.
We need to be aware that t is our voices that give a “sanctuary” for Hashem to be expressed.
“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell within them.” (Exodus 25:8)