The Mishkan – A Micro-Cosmos

The Mishkan is the equivalent of the universe.

Regarding the work of the first day of creation it says, “He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (Psalms 104:2). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “You shall make curtains of goat’s hair for a tent over the Tabernacle” (Exodus 26:7).

Regarding the work of the second day of creation it says, “Let there be a firmament . . . and let it divide between the waters and the waters” (Genesis 1:6). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “The veil shall divide for you between the Holy and the Holy of Holies” (Exodus 26:33).

Regarding the work of the third day of creation it says, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together” (Genesis 1:9). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “You shall make a copper basin, and the base thereof of copper, for washing” (Exodus 30:18).

Regarding the work of the fourth day of creation it says, “Let there be luminaries in the heavens” (Genesis 1:14). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “You shall make a menorah of pure gold” (Exodus 25:31).

Regarding the work of the fifth day of creation it says, “Let fowl fly above the earth” (Genesis 1:20). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward” (Exodus 25:20).

On the sixth day, man was created [to inhabit and cultivate the earth]. Regarding the Mishkan, G‑d says to Moses, “Bring near Aaron your brother [to perform the service in the Sanctuary]” (Exodus 28:1).

Of the seventh day we have it written, “The heaven and the earth were completed. . . . And G‑d completed His work . . . G‑d blessed . . . and G‑d sanctified . . .” (Genesis 2:1–3). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says: “Thus was completed all the work of the Tabernacle . . . and Moses blessed them. . . . And it came to pass on the day that Moses completed the Tabernacle . . . and sanctified it” (Exodus 39:32,43; Numbers 7:1).

(Midrash Rabbah)

One thought on “The Mishkan – A Micro-Cosmos

  1. “Let them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell in them” – not “in it” but “in them” — not in the building but its builders, not in wood and metal, bricks or stone, but in those who build and those who worship. It is not objects, buildings, or places that are holy-in-themselves. Only acts of heart and mind can endow them with holiness.
    That is the deep meaning of Moses’ blessing to the Israelites: “May it be G-d’s will that His presence rests in the work of your hands.”

    Like

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