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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Hold Up

By Rabbi Sender Haber

The Torah portion that we just read discussed the building of the Mishkan. The Mishkan was the dwelling place for G-d in this world. If as G-d could have a house here on earth this parsha tells us what it would look like. The Torah goes to great lengths to describe to the Jewish people exactly how the Mishkan should be built and how it should look. This is a sort of Jewish Feng Shui (fung shway). It is a lesson in how to make G-d belong in our homes and in our lives. If we can understand the architecture of the Mishkan we can understand something about how G-d relates to this world and to us.

The supporting beams of the Mishkan were a series of very large pillars, called Krashim. The Torah describes the placement of the Krashim in the very human terms of “Isha El Achosa” like sisters standing beside one another.

The Baal Shem Tov explains that this world is one big Mishkan and that human beings have the role of the Krashim. Just as the tapestries of the Mishkan depended on the Krashim – the pillars to form an actual structure, G-d leaves it to us to make the world into a G-dly place. Just as the Krashim give shape to the Mishkan, G-d gives us a job to give shape to this world and turn it into a holy structure – a place where He can dwell.

We are here in this world as ambassadors of G-d. We should represent G-d in everything that we do and to everyone that we meet. We can make this world more G-dly with every nice word that we say and every time we keep our mouths shut. If we can do this then we are truly Krashim pillars of this world that can hold this world up.

Often, great people are also great nonconformists. These are the people who have courage and can beat to their own drum; but these people can only become truly great if they never forget their role as supporting actors. We should have courage and we can do our own thing but we must always doing the will of Hashem and representing Hashem to everyone around us.

Unfortunately, we do not need to look very far to find examples of talented people who have completely ruined their lives and talents by forgetting that there is more to life than themselves. The Baal Shem Tov writes that if we can remember to bring G-d with us in everything we do then we are making a Kesher – a connection. Otherwise all we have is Sheker – falsehood and superficiality. How long can it last?

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