By: Herschel Karp (10th Grade)
In this week’s Parsha, Parsha Tetzaveh, Hashem gave the Jewish people the instructions to make the golden altar known as the Aron, which was used to burn incense in the Mishkan. The passages pertaining to the method of building the Aron are in depth building instructions.
Everything written in the Torah applies to every generation. However, many wonder how the passages of the building instructions relate to our daily lives.
When Hashem told Moshe to build for Him a Mishkan, He said: “And they shall make Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell in them.” We learn that Hashem is referring to living in the soul of every Jew. Thus, even though the physical Mishkan is destroyed, there is an inner sanctuary for godliness that exists within us. This “sanctuary” is maintained through our service to Hashem.
The laws recorded about the building of the Mishkan are in fact precise instructions for the inner life of the Jew. In this comparison between the Aron and the Neshamah, the rest of the vessels in the Mishkan reflect our thoughts. When we have impure thoughts, it is the equivalent of a vessel within the Mishkan becoming impure; we must remove the impurity so that we can use the vessels and thoughts in service in the Mishkan. Just like no impure vessels were allowed, so too we shouldn’t tolerate impure thoughts.
Our Neshamah reflects the gold and copper of the Mishkan. No matter what we do to it, it can never become impure. We are completely bound to Hashem through our Neshamah, regardless of how far we seem to be from Judaism. Moreover, animals were brought to the altar and consumed by the fire from Hashem.The animals that were offered represent our animal soul and the fire which consumes them is the fire from Hashem which we find in our Neshamah.
From here we learn that no matter what we may have in our minds, whether we question our belief in Hashem or Judaism, our souls are still bound to Hashem. something No matter how far off the path you may be, you are always able to return.