“They shall make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them.”(Exodus 25:8)
Is this amazing! Hashem wants to dwell among us! This is the biggest thing in the world! And in this Torah Portion we learn what that Sanctuary is going to look like!
The secret of our existence is that we are able to meet Hashem in a special Place that is called a “home,” the “Bayis” that He has commanded us to build. For us, Hashem is more than a King; He is also a Father. Do we not cry out “Avinu, Malkeinu?” And which comes first? “Avinu,” our Father! What other Nation has such a relationship with the King of the Universe?
And now we have lost our Beautiful Home! Can we even imagine what this means?
Well, my friends, each year at this time, we learn how to rebuild it. This Portion begins the instruction, and soon we will find that our work is not in vain. We are going to see that House again! The question is: Are we ready? How much do we want it? Last Erev Shabbos I had a shocking revelation how ready I was.
I did not fare too well on my test.
We had just arrived in Israel. I was getting dressed for shul. On Shabbos you want to look as if you are a member of “Mamleches Kohanim v’goy kadosh … a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6) It is good to look that way during the week as well, but on Shabbos it is easier to feel one’s royalty. As our Rabbis tell us, “Those who delight in [Shabbos] will inherit eternal honor; those who savor it will merit life and also those who love the speech that befits it have chosen greatness.” (Shabbos Mussaf)
Suddenly I could not find my special Shabbos cufflinks. I want to tell you: I did not handle it too well. I had gone to special lengths to purchase those cufflinks, in honor of Shabbos, and, when I could not find them, I was extremely upset. I told my wife, “I feel sick,” and I lay down (although I had no time!). I knew that I had to get out of that mood, but how was I going to fix myself?
Suddenly, I realized – I am writing and speaking about this all the time – that the entire world is about to undergo an earth-shaking change! The worldwide non-Jewish culture is going to implode. Soon the world will be ruled … not by the headlines, not by the internet, not by the stock market, not by weapons, not by the culture founded on materialism… but, in total contrast, the world is going to pulse with the sanctity emanating from the Holy City of Yerushalayim!
“The Voice of Hashem is upon the waters! The G-d of Glory thunders! Hashem is upon vast waters!” (Psalm 29) We will soon see the Rebuilt Temple and the entire world will be bathed in holy light!
And I am worried about cufflinks?!