2 Adar 5778 – Terumah

Creating a home for G-d in our hearts

Here is a message to provide us with hope as we stumble along this path called life.

The Dilemma

The most significant action of history was the creation of the world. After all, that was when history began! So you would think the Torah would dedicate great space towards this phenomenon. Yet, there are only 31 verses on the creation story. Contrast this event with the construction of a small tabernacle, the Mishkan, that we will read about in Shule over the weekend. This was G-d’s home – a portable Temple – during the Jews’ forty-year sojourn in the wilderness. There are five Torah portions, with close to four hundred verses to describe its measurements, materials and construction! Why the brevity to describe the creation, yet the expansiveness regarding this small tent?

The Message

This strange contrast conveys something profoundly important about the Torah’s perspective on life. For an infinite G-d to create a home for finite man is not a big deal. But for a finite man to create a home for an infinite G-d—that is a revolutionary notion. It constitutes the essential revolution of Judaism that from the ordinary stuff of human life can be carved a dwelling place for the Almighty; that G-d craves to dwell in the space we designate for Him in the lonely desert of human consciousness.

This is the essence of the Tabernacle story, which occupies almost half the book of Exodus: that a human being, through his or her minute and limited deeds, words and thoughts, can create a home for G-d in his or her daily life.   

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman

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