Teruma – Have You Built Your Personal Temple

Jews are a portable people with a portable culture and a portable belief system. That is the reason why Jews continue to survive and thrive no matter wherein world and no matter when in history. To the extent that even today we have a mini-Temple that we worship at. The Mishkan/Tabernacle in the desert exodus was also a mini-portable Temple. It had beauty as well as mystery shrouding it. Built according to very specific dimensions laid out in the Torah, its internal space expanded and contracted mystically according to need. It transcended space and even time. Later in history the first and second Temples in Jerusalem even exceeded these supernatural phenomena. But where is the portable Mishkan today – seeing we have no third Temple at this moment (soon to be rectified) nor a Mishkan? The answer lies in a curious phrase in. this week’s Parsha of Teruma. G-d makes a request viz. “Make me a sanctuary that I may dwell in them.” Clearly the final pronoun ‘them’ should have been in in the singular viz ‘it’, as is the singular subject noun of ‘sanctuary’. But the meaning of the plural, ‘them’, means it exists in each one of us, hence the use of the plural pronoun ‘them’, meaning in every single Jew’s heart, no matter how many us we may be. Of course, the instructions for constructing a physical sanctuary are specific and real. But should there come a time, G-d implies, where there is no sanctuary, you will establish it within yourselves. But this presupposes a construction phase. So, as the Kotzker Rebbe noted: “Where is G-d? Where you let Him in.” One needs to construct a ‘doorway’, an entry point, this being our adoption of beliefs and practice of consciousness and mindfulness of G-d’s presence in all of our endeavours. Have you built your mindfulness doorway as yet?