This week’s Torah portion, Pekudei, enumerates all the details that pertain to the setting up of the Tabernacle, a subject that has already been dealt with exhaustively in previous chapters of the Torah.
If the purpose of Pekudei is to teach us that indeed, all the work on the Tabernacle was carried out exactly as G-d had commanded, would it not have sufficed to say so in one sentence? Why list every single detail all over again?
This question can also be asked about another section of the Torah, which speaks about the period immediately following Moses’ completion of the Tabernacle. Each of the 12 leaders of the tribes of Israel brought offerings to the newly erected Sanctuary, and the Torah tells, in great detail, what these offering entailed. Yet on the face of it, all 12 offerings were identical.
Why was it necessary to repeat the same words 12 times, rather than say that all of them brought the identical offerings?
The answer lies in the explanation that only externally did the 12 offerings resemble each other; spiritually, each offering had a different content and purpose.
The Torah could not have said that each of the 12 leaders brought the identical offering, for in fact, they all differed from one another.
This explanation is true for this week’s Torah portion as well: The Tabernacle which G-d commanded the Jews to build was in reality a different entity from the one which Moses erected. The Torah states, “These are the accounts of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of the testimony.” This repetition of the word “tabernacle” alludes to the two sanctuaries implied by the text-the physical and the spiritual.
The physical Tabernacle was the one that G-d instructed Moses to erect. This tabernacle was built of physical materials – silver, gold, wood, etc. The second Tabernacle is the spiritual one that each of us must build, and the various building materials are spiritual entities that we must utilize for our goal.
Even though the spiritual Tabernacle G-d showed Moses on Mount Sinai was doubtless on a higher spiritual plane than the one built by the Children of Israel, it was precisely in the physical one where G-d’s Presence dwelled. It was only after “Moses completed his tasks” that “the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Glory of G-d filled the Sanctuary.” G-d desired an actual physical location in the corporeal world to show the manifestation of His infinite nature.
It is easy to belittle the power of the individual to influence his surroundings, and make an impact on the world. How can one person make a difference and bring pleasure to His Creator, when we are so puny and insignificant?
The Torah answers: it is precisely because we are in such a physical world that G-d desires our performance of mitzvot (commandments). It is up to us, we who are in this world, to imbue it with G-dliness and turn it into a true dwelling place for the One Above. Moshiach NOW!!!