God instructs the Children of Israel to construct a Mishkan (Tabernacle), to serve as a conduit of connection between mankind and the Creator, connecting this earthly realm to its highest Source. The deeper commentaries explain that the form of the Mishkan emanates from the form of the Torah, so that it serves as a virtual Torah space on earth. As such, the elements within the structure of the Mishkan parallel the elements comprising the Torah itself.
For example, twenty-two unique alphabetical characters comprise the entire written Torah. These letters are subdivided into three groups: (1) the 3 “elemental” letters; (2) the 7 “two-fold” letters; and (3) the 12 “simple” letters. (The specifics of these subdivisions would be too far a diversion for this short essay.)
Parallel to the first group, three metals are used in the Mishkan‘s construction: gold, silver and copper. Parallel to the second group are the seven branches of the Menorah (Lamp). Parallel to the third group are the twelve stones of the High Priest’s breastplate.
Just as God can be “known” through engagement with the Torah, the construction of the Mishkan facilitated a tangible experience of meeting the Divine Presence within a space designed especially to house its Infinite Source.
May we merit to see the ultimate House of God rebuilt speedily in our days!
Based on Shla”h, Parshas Terumah
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(Image from: flickr.com)