(A) Building with Heart

Parashat VaYakhel-Pekudei

In conveying instructions for the building of the mishkan (tabernacle), the Torah makes two crucial points. First, God does not simply seek a place to dwell; God seeks, rather, a place constructed by human hands. Second, God has no interest in a structure erected through coercion or taxation; what God wants is an edifice built from freely-bestowed gifts. Through its portrayal of the mishkan, the Torah offers us a window on what the ideal communal project would look like: generous, ego-less, and motivated by the sacredness of the cause itself. (5775)