Parashat Terumah

In this parashah, God asks the children of Israel to accept donations from any person “generous of heart” for the construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. The Torah goes on to relate: “And they shall make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell within them”. But, should not the wisest, most important, wealthy people have contributed to such a significant cause as the tabernacle? What was so special for God that even a “simple commoner” should offer some object to collaborate with this magnificent work? Also, why does the verse say, “I will dwell within them,” should it not say “within it (sanctuary).” To answer these questions, we must first understand what was the purpose of the sanctuary in the wilderness, for if God is omnipresent, why did he designate a specific place to rest his providence? According to Judaism, the highest way to connect to God is not through fear of possible misfortunes or punishments he imposes, but through love, since it reflects a true relationship, as in family ties. After the children of Israel accepted to receive the Torah at the foot of Mount Sinai, and God had made His providence rest there, He ordered to build a place to continue with that connection with the people, and that was only possible with a true contribution from the heart of each person, regardless of their status and even if they do not belong to the “high lineage”, because, after all, God loves each and every one of us. But the Tabernacle did not cease to be a physical place, a conduit between the people and God, that is why the verse states “they shall make a sanctuary, and I will dwell within them”, to teach us that if we seek a relationship of true love with God, it will finally end up residing in each and every one of our hearts…

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