Midreshet Amit


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By: Lauren Schaum and Eliora Fleigelman 

This week’s Parsha, Parsha Teruma, is all about building the mishkan. Bnei Yisroel are given all the details and measurements for building it.

When was Moshe given the order to build the mishkan? Why did Hashem need a place to live After all He is not a physical being? What comes first the sin of the golden calf, or the mitzvah of building the mishkan?

The Tzedei Laderech says that Hashem never wanted a mishkan. After Cheyt Haegel He realized that Bnei Yisroel needed some form of physical connection, in order to connect with Hashem. Hashem wanted Bnei Yisroel to be able to connect spiritually, but realized they weren’t able to without something physically in front of them. They could not simply connect with something abstract, they needed more. The Midrash Tanchuma similarly says that Bnei Yisrael wanted Hashem to have all the physicalities and estravegences that a regular King does. However, Hashem did not need all the fancy drapes, lights etc.. He didn’t need beautiful palace like all the other kings, but it was Bnei Yisroel who wanted Hashem to have all these things.

According to Rashi, the Torah is not in chronological order and the mitzvah of the mishkan was given after the sin of the golden calf. After Bnei Yisroel sinned, Hashem commanded Bnei Yisroel to build the mishkan and acknowledged that they needed something physical to help them connect. What is the reason that the Torah mentions that Bnei Yisroel used an immense amount of gold during the process of building the mishkan? The reason for this is because Hashem wanted them to use the gold, which they previously used to sin, by making the golden calf, and turn it into a positive. Therefore they used the gold for the mishkan.

Rabbeinu Bachya uses the metaphor of a sickness and cure. Hashem always has the cure to something before it happens. Hashem knew Bnei Yisroel was going to sin and that Bnei Yisroel would need the mishkan. This is why Hashem told Moshe about the mishkan, when he was on top of Har Sinai. Hashem was prepping Moshe for what was about to happen and helping him be prepared to handle it all. The mishkan was the “cure” to Cheyt Haegel.

This year coming to Israel has helped us build our physical connection with Hashem and our Judaism. Before this year we all spent the day learning Torah and davening, but it was abstract. This year we all have the opportunity to not just daven in a shul, but we have the amazing opportunity of being able to go up close to the holiest places, right near where the beit hamikdash used to stand and daven at the kotel. We get to experience the land of our ancestors, and see all the amazing places where big events in Tanach occurred. With just a few months left of our year at Midreshet Amit, we continue everyday to build both our spiritual and physical connections with Hashem, just as Bnei Yisroel did.