Weekly Dvar Torah: Hashem Needs Your Donation, Otherwise He is Homeless
G-d commanded Moshe to make a fundraising appeal by the Jewish people for the purpose of building Him a home. He didn’t ask for obedience, He didn’t ask for prayer, He didn’t ask for spiritual meditation, He asked for gold, silver, copper and wood, 13-15 items which will build Him a home.
One can ask a million questions; why does G-d need a home? Why does He need my donation? Can’t He just create a home for Himself without my involvement? And if Hashem needs a home, where is this home now? And the list goes on.
Chassidus gives a most powerful and the most inspiring answer.
The infinite Supreme-Being needs nothing and lacks nothing. But because of His infinite love to a Jewish body, He chose to give us the opportunity to be the ones who will provide for His needs (wants and desires) to give us a chance to please Him. And this gives Him pleasure.
G-d says; “I want your money”, ויקחו לי תרומה = take for me a Teruma, which means; take some of your money and possessions and separate some of it for Me. It also means, elevate your money for Me.
G-d says; ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם = “make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell amongst you. I need a home where to live, if not for you I will be homeless.”
G-d instructs to build Him a home in the wilderness, an uninhabited place where snakes and scorpions rule, a place that has no water, a place where it is impossible to live, and in this desert you will build Me a home.
On a simple level, G-d asked to create a place for Him to live made of physical items, and He promised that He will come and live there. Dwelling in the spiritual lofty worlds will not do the trick. This in itself is so powerful; that the infinite G-d will come and live amongst us mortals.
But on a deeper level, G-d says I will dwell within you בתוכם = inside you, inside of each and every one of you, inside your physical body.
Sometimes a person thinks G-d is infinite and spiritual, and I am a little insignificant nobody, I am so materialistically inclined, I am barren like the desolate desert, what connection can I have with this G-d? I can handle that people like Moshe, Avraham Avinu, and the like, who are highly motivated spiritual and G-dly people, perhaps they can have a connection with this supreme being, but me, who am I?
G-d says, as great as Avraham was, he could not make Me a home, he could not sanctify anything physical in this world which would make me comfortable in and welcome. Even Moshe, who brought down the Torah from heaven on Mt. Sinai, could not make the mountain holy, even though “I G-d, came down on the mountain in front of all of Israel,” nevertheless the day after, it returned to be a regular mountain just like any other mountain.
Why you ask? Because it was not through your work that the mountain became holy, it was not you who made Me a place in this world. I need you to do it, otherwise I have no place in this world. Even when Avraham served Me and he kept the Torah, the division between the physical and the spiritual remained firm. Even when Moshe brought the Torah down Mt. Sinai, and I came down to the mountain, it was only a temporary one-day stint. And because it was not you who made it happen, and it came only from Me, it could not last. In order for it to be lasting, I need you to make it happen.
It can only happen through your deeds. When you donate from yourself, you build Me a home. When you take a cowhide and make Tefillin, you make it holy and G-dly. When you light a candle for Shabbos, you welcome Me into your home. When you keep the laws of purity and have children, you create a holy family, and this is where I want to be. This is how you make Me a home.
What Hashem is telling us is, I love you as a soul in a body. And the one thing that will please me most, is not your spiritual meditation or your emotional attachment to Me. Only what’s done by your physical body will make me happy. When you share with me some of the money that you earned with your body, when you put on Tefillin on your physical hand, when you have children and build a Jewish home in this physical world, this will make me a dwelling place, and this will make Me happy.
Building the physical Mishkan and the Mikdash in which I will live, can only happen if you make it. And even when there is no physical structure, by you bringing Me into your home through your giving of yourself, you have made Me a home that I can feel comfortable in. Because I love you.
And the loving father will bring us back home very soon, to the new structure that we built Him in Jerusalem
Have a holy and G-d loving Shabbos,
Rabbi Yosef Katzman