Thursday, February 18, 2010

Primitive Thoughts on Parashat Terumah


"Primitive Thoughts on Parashat Terumah ?"
Lets call it "Practical Thoughts !"
Or maybe YES "primitive" ?

G - d is giving all the instructions for the building the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Later on, certain families are appointed for the duty of carrying poles, walls, all kinds of parts while the Israelites travel through the desert. Those male family members of Moshe and Aharon seem to look at each other in a way of jealousy. At least some members.
Why is he allowed to carry this and I am only carrying that ?
It just looks like a typical male competition behaviour.

Who can imagine today what it meant to have a Mishkan ? We barely imagine having a Temple but who speaks or thinks about the original Mishkan except when it comes to some Torah readings throughout the year ? Okay, there was this Mishkan consisting of many parts but then the First Temple came into existence. The Mishkan was gone and some sources say that most of it was destroyed or burnt down.

Why is G - d giving every little single detail about how to build the Mishkan. Our Sages say in order to make us used to go into detail. The Mishkan was to be built in detail and so we have to keep the Mitzvot. Not going away from the law and making it easier but strictly follow the written and oral law.

Rabbeinu Bachya has several spiritual commentaries on Sefer Shemot (the Book of Exodus). The Mishkan was the exact counterpart of the Temple (Beit HaMikdash) in the upper spiritual worlds. As we know, everything in this material world has a counterpart in the upper spiritual world. Even human beings.

So, what does that mean ?
That there is another Miriam walking around in the upper worlds ? That there is another Tempel standing up there ? Another Jerusalem but just somewhere above us ?
What do those people there think when they look down on us ? What do we think ?

Basically it means that the Mishkan was perfect. The way it should be because G - d's Shechinah (Presence) was residing in there. So is the upper Miriam. She doesn't walk around and hopefully I won't meet my perfect "I". The other Miriam is the perfect person I should be.
The upper Jerusalem is the perfect Jerusalem; how it should be.

The concept with the counterparts is not to be taken literally but to be understood on a spiritual level. We can turn the Jerusalem in this world into a perfect Jerusalem. By doing Mitzvot, for instance. By changing the city and us into existences completely following G - d's will. And, in this respect, the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was perfect.

Today, each of us has to work on that in order to get a taste of the upper worlds.

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