A quiet Shabbat of reflection

We have a chance to ponder and reflect on the main mitzva of the sedra. The mitzva that the whole sedra is devoted to.

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Phil Chernofsky,

Torah scroll with yad (archive)
Torah scroll with yad (archive)
Rachael Cerrotti - Flash 90

Last Shabbat was Mishpatim and Sh'kalim and Rosh Chodesh Benching and Erev Rosh Chodesh, which kept us busy for two more days.

Next Shabbat is T'tzaveh and Zachor and Taanit Esther preponed to two days before Shabbat and Purim for most of the Jewish World right after Shabbat and the following day for us Yerushalmim. Busy, busy, busy.

This Shabbat is the HAFSAKA (break) in the sequence of the Four Parshiyot. Just one Torah. One kugel. Relative to the Shabbat before it and the many Shabbatot to comes, it's a calm, quiet Shabbat. (Except, of course, at the OU Israel Center pre-pre-Purim Shabbaton.)

So maybe we have a chance to ponder and reflect on the main mitzva of the sedra. The mitzva that the whole sedra is devoted to. The mitzva that will capture much of the upcoming sedras.

V'ASU LI MIKDASH V'SHACHANTI B'TO-CHAM. The command to build the Mikdash - i.e. the Mishkan back in that generation and the Beit HaMikdash - one and two - in later generations, and the third and final Beit HaMikdash, may it be built in our time and may we rejoice in its building.
Various Torah Tidbits columnists have presented different aspects of the mitzva of the Mikdash. So have may other authors and speakers.

The topic of the Beit HaMikdash makes some people distinctly nervous. They tend to see the Mikdash and its Avoda as a thing of the past.

People seem to gravitate towards the Mikdash M'at, i.e. the Shul. The Jewish Home is another kind of Mikdash. So is the Jewish Heart. Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh - in my heart I will build a Mishkan. Beautiful song and important concept.

But all of the above is not - mustn't be - a substitute in our minds and hearts and souls, for the Real Thing.

All of the things that the Mikdash represents, all of the concepts it projects to us, should not be thought of as replacements for the Beit HaMikdash. Every idea related to the Mikdash and drawn from the Mikdash, should enhance our understanding and feeling about Mikdash and its Avoda, so that when we are blessed with the Real Thing, we will handle it in the proper way. Details? some we know and some we'll find out - no worry. Just pray and long for it and work for it... and mean it.


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