Project Genesis

Jewish Texts

The Chumash (Five Books of Moses)

So Many Details of the Tabernacle!

Question: Why are there so many details on the building of the Tabernacle, yet hardly any details regarding the creation of the world and us?

Answer: It is important to keep in mind that the Torah was given primarily for the purpose of relating a concrete message, and an eternal covenant from G-d, to the Jewish people. It is not a history of the natural world and its inhabitants. In truth, although the secrets of creation are cloaked within the Torah, that is only a function of the Torah’s infinite depths and not its main purpose.

It makes sense that the details of the Tabernacle are drawn out, seeing that it is a direct commandment to the Jewish people on how to bring G-d’s Divine presence into their lives!

From a literal standpoint, the Tabernacle was the place in which G-d “rested” His presence amongst the Jewish people, later to be manifest in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

Allegorically, every detail of the Tabernacle has applicability to our lives. For example, the Ark, which housed the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the Torah, had a wooden frame. However, it was to be covered by pure gold, inside and out. This teaches, that someone who wishes to be a worthy vessel of G-d’s word must have purity and sincerity of thought that matches his or her actions (i.e. you must be pure – both inside and out).

Furthermore, note how the vessels of the Tabernacle were carried by staffs which were placed through loops attached to the vessels. In the case of the Ark alone, there is a commandment that the staffs may never be removed. This alludes to how a person should view the Torah—constantly a fundamental part of his or her life, in every realm of existence.

It seems that volumes could be written regarding the meaning and function of the Tabernacle. To be quite honest, I learn something new about it every year. Perhaps the central idea we can take away is this: “Make for Me a Tabernacle and I will dwell amongst you?” (Exodus 25:8) can be homiletically understood that each one of us has the ability to make room for G-d in our hearts and in our lives; and if we do, G-d will surely fill that space.

Best wishes,
R’ Daniel Fleksher

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