6 Adar 5773 / Feb. 15-16, 2013
In this week’s portion, Terumah, we find uber-specific blueprints instructing the Israelites on how to build the Tabernacle, altar, ark, menorah, etc. Basically, a transmission of the instructions on how to build the ritual objects that the Israelites would keep with them as they wandered in the desert for the next 40 years.
Early in the portion, we find God telling Moses that the Israelites should bring gifts in order to have the materials with which to construct these ritual objects. God also shares with Moses the rationale for the impending project: “Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.”
What does it really mean to build a sanctuary so that we can be in the company of the Divine? While in the Torah portion we’re dealing with a very specific physical structure, can we today find meaningful ways to create structures of holiness in our lives (both physical and spiritual)? Can we ourselves be the sanctuary that brings Divinity into the world?
We’ve often heard the phrase “my body is my temple.” What does it look like to really live that concept?
Are we conscious of what we’re eating / drinking?
Are we exercising regularly and finding ways to enjoy the outdoors and the awesomeness that is nature?
Are we getting enough rest from the daily grind?
Are we introspective enough to see where we can grow, how we can better treat others, and how to best walk in the world with holy purpose?
When we can answer yes to the above, perhaps we can really begin to understand what it means to have the Divine dwelling among us, and we can construct sanctuaries both physical and spiritual to reflect the accompanying power and joy.