This Torah portion talks about how G-d commanded Moses to take special craftsmen that have the G-dly divine providence in them. They would understand how to build and construct G-d's Temple.
G-d commanded Moses saying:
"And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst" (25:8)
However according to Hebrew grammar and literature, this verse is not correct. Instead of stating "And I will dwell in their midst," it should say "And I shall dwell in it [the sanctuary]." But since The Torah wrote it this way, there must be a reason and something must be learnt out of this.
The Rebbe, Reb M.M. Schneerson brings several explanations from different sources and adds a bit of insight in to them:
Firstly, in the simple way of explaining this question, is by saying that G-d is encouraging and commanding us to build
synagogues and miniature sanctuaries around the world where Jews are found. (However one must note that there is a commandment that prohibits the sacrifices of animal as done in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem other than in Jerusalem itself!)
The Hebrew word of "Mikdash" which literally means "Sanctuary" also means holy. Hence any place that is put aside for serving G-d becomes a Holy Sanctuary. That is G-d's intention.
It is also said that after the destruction of the Holy Temples "the Jews have to have the 4 Amot (approximately 8 feet) of Torah." (I.e. a study or similar.) This means that Jews are encouraged to have a room set aside in their house to be a study or library with Jewish Torah books, and a place where to study. (Usually whenever the Talmud uses the measurement of 4 Amot, it refers to a table!)
Another explanation is that through building the Sanctuary (or Temple) this will cause G-d to dwell in each Jew literally. In each one's heart and consciousness. G-d will then be with the Jew in whatever he does. G-d will allow him to succeed through the fact that the person allows G-d into his house and gives Him a dwelling place there.
A third and very interesting explanation is. G-d says to build him a sanctuary in this world. In this fake, dark, mundane and physical world where it wouldn't be possible for G-dliness to find it's place here. But G-d had a strong desire to see mundane physical creatures turning the physical mundane dark world into a holy place such as heaven etc. ‘This,’ G-d says, ‘is done by the Jews accepting to take G-d in make Him a study or library in ones home and/or building synagogues.’ This will allow G-d to dwell amongst us. G-d expects us to go around and publicize His name and doings, this will cause G-d to dwell in other people as well. Through that, eventually be known in the whole world. That is very similar to what it's like up there in Heaven.
From this we can learn that G-d is with us whatever we do no matter who we are. Religious or not, G-d dwells in whom ever
allows Him in. Through good deeds, through belief, through prayer, and anything of the like, G-d will dwell in you and make you succeed. When people will ask you why suddenly did you change? What is this you don't drive on Shabbat any more? Then you will tell them G-d commanded me to keep Shabbat. This is a way of building G-d a dwelling place, for now He feels "comfortable" (so to speak) in order to dwell in you. He would also dwell not only in you, but also amongst your family and friends. This is because this change could cause a gap between you and your relatives, friends and any person close to you. (However G-d’s repayment for coming close to Him is that they will come to respect you enough for your decision of change.) You never know what can tip the scale with a good word to a friend, or a good advice. This person might just one day think about it. Even if he laughs about it or mocks you about it now, but it's in his sub-consciousness and may cause him to change one day.
Here is a small story just to conclude this point.
Once a person came to the Rebbe for a blessing in his business, saying, "Rebbe, I have opened a store not to long ago, and I
don't have many customers. If this continues I won't be able to up keep the shop. Please bless me with success." The Rebbe then looked at him and asked: "Do you set aside time for learning?" Puzzled the Jew replied, "No, I don't have time, I try to present my shop nicely, walk out side and try persuading people to come in to my shop. I work on new advertising ideas, but nothing seems to work! I really have no time to study during the day, and by the time I get home I'm too exhausted to lift a book." The Rebbe then advised, "do you remember when you were a Yeshiva student, whenever you tried to learn the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) would find some tactic to bother you?" The Jew replied with a positive nod smiling as he remembered, 'those good old days!' The Rebbe then told him "allow me to advise you with a trick. Instead of coming up with all kinds of advertising techniques, and straining yourself by standing out side screaming at passer Byers. Sit in your shop and study, The Yetzer Hara will then want to bother you, he will then send clients to bother you from your learning!" After a while this person did start making a lot of money. He eventually opened many branches to his stores, living quite wealthy. Just as the Rebbe advised, too many clients 'bothered' him because he allowed G-d into his business making it a sanctuary, by learning G-d's Torah!
Remember you can change this mundane and physical world, by simply saying a good word or giving charity, remember there are many ways of Doing Only Good!
© Thought of the Week - Yermi Kurkus
Derived from The Talmud, The Teachings of The Rebbe M. M. Schneerson, and from various other sources.