DIY Temple

Friday, 15 February, 2013 - 1:18 pm

686_6679_6Beis_Hamikdash_wood_Mehudar_Built12.JPGWe are commanded in the Torah to build a home for G-d. A Mishkan (tabernacle) was originally constructed by our ancestors in the desert, eventually being replaced by a permanent structure in Jerusalem, the Beit Hamikdash (The Holy Temple). The Beit Hamikdash was eventually destroyed, and then rebuilt, lasting in total almost 900 years.

How do we fulfill this commandment today? Do we have to go to Israel and rebuild the Temple? (That would definitely cause a political furor (to say the least) among our Arab brothers…)

Although the physical structure will be rebuilt by Moshiach, we have the ability to create the holy space that the Beit Hamikdash provided, in our life and home.

There were three primary functions of the Beit Hamikdash. 1) It served as the home for the Tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. 2) It served as a place to gather in prayer. 3) It served as center for giving and kindness. The poor among the Jewish people would be provided with funds to sustain themselves.

We too, in our homes, can emulate the functions of the Beit Hamikdash. By dedicating a fixed time to Torah study, we reflect the purpose of the Beit Hamikdash as providing a permanent home for the Torah(in the form of the Ark, which housed the Ten Commandments).When we incorporate prayer in our life, recognizing Hashem’s constant blessings, we reflect the prayer and sacrifices that were brought in the Beit Hamikdash. Finally, when we host guests in our home, when we prepare food to share with the sick or needy, we reflect the kindness and caring that the Beit Hamikdash effected.

This is the way we fulfill the commandment of constructing a home for G-d, by making our own home into a Beit Hamikdash. We live in a fast paced and highly stressful world, full of competition and strife. We need a sanctuary that sustains us not only physically, but also spiritually. “And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst” (Exodus 25:8). When we construct our home in this way, we provide a haven for ourselves and our family and a place for G-d “to dwell” in our life.

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