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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Tetzave

Parashat Tetzaveh

Hashem's Presence

Dedicated to the memory of
Yaakov Ben Behora
After a series of commandments relating to the manufacture of the priestly garments and the inauguration of the priestly service in the Mishkan, Hashem affirms that his presence will dwell in the midst of Israel. "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God." (Shemot 29:45). Rav Dovid HaLevi Segal explains that Hashem’s presence will only rest within Israel if the Mishkan (and all of its vessels) is constructed in a spirit of holiness.

Obviously, Hashem’s presence transforms this physical structure into a sacred site; man, however, plays a role in creating this holy-saturated setting. Man must take a moral inventory of his intentions as he builds. Hashem will not magically appear to Israel - He desires for man to look within and take action, to build a structure with reflection and pure intentions. More simply put, Israel must do their part and only afterwards will God will do his.

This concept expresses itself in many Mikdash settings. In Sefer Devarim Israel is commanded to sacrifice to God in the place that He chooses to put His name. "But to the place that the Lord your God shall choose ..." (Devarim 12:5). How does Israel know where to sacrifice? How do they know that Hashem is referring to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where the Mikdash will eventually stand? The Sifrei answers that a prophet will reveal the exact location. Does this imply that Israel should wait around until the prophet supernaturally reveals the location? Absolutely not! The Sifrei continues: "‘There you shall seek Him, at His dwelling, and there shall you come’ - seek and find Him, and then a prophet will tell you."

Man is obligated to set out on a spiritual and very practical expedition! He must search within and actively seek out the area of Hashem’s presence; only afterwards, will Hashem reveal the location of the Mikdash via a prophet.

Regarding Mikdash matters, man must search within, he must act, he must conduct himself with holiness, and only then will Hashem reveal Himself. May we mertit to complete the necessary steps that will enable the Shekhina to outwardly reappear, speedily in our days.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
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