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Parshat Tetzaveh

By: Other

A few years ago, I went with my family to San Antonio and we visited the Alamo, the site of one of the most famous battles in American history. The bravery shown by the soldiers who fought there has been a source of pride for all Texans and many Americans. When my wife and I and our children arrived, we saw a sign right outside the entrance: “Gentleman, on entering the Alamo, will please remove their hats, and all visitors will speak in low tones, in recognition of the sacredness of this shrine.”  I realized that for many Americans, and Texans in particular, the Alamo is not just a place of history, but a place of holiness.

What is it that made the Alamo – or Gettysburg, another sacred place in American history – special? How did those locations become sanctified? Both places commemorate the extreme bravery and ultimate sacrifice that was made by men committed to a greater cause. As President Lincoln said, “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

The Torah teaches us that there are many positive ways we can bring kedushah into this world.  Parshat Trumah describes the building of  the Mishkan, whose kedusha comes not from heroic sacrifice of human life, but from establishing and building a connection with G-d.

Rabbeinu Bachya paraphrases Hashem’s command to build the Mishkan: “I am a shepherd, you are my sheep; build me a booth so that I can can watch over you. You are a vineyard and I am the watchman; build me a succah so that I can guard you. I am a parent and you are my child; build me a house so I can influence you.” All Bnei Yisrael has to do to bring Hashem into the world is establish a home, a place for Hashem to exist. We have this very special and unique connection but we have to provide the platform.  





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